Why this story matters:
Lukáš Machala is Slovakia's education minister's new assistant secretary. He is also a passionate sharer of conspiracy theories on Facebook. From the best-known theories about the Illuminati to domestic ones about Brussels ruining Slovak traditions.
Many European countries are facing the spread of conspiracy websites and "alternative facts" on Facebook. Slovakia is not an exception. The most shared content on Facebook among Slovak users tends to come from the "untrue" category. Even members of the parliament and their advisors are prone to passing around conspiracies, though the public doesn't take them too seriously. More often, journalists and the online community use such content to poke fun at politicians.
Slovakia's new education minister, Martina Lubyová, has been in office for just a month. Many people believed that she is be an inspired choice for the position because she is well educated, knowledgeable and new to politics. Her tapping of Machala for assistant secretary has raised many a concerned eyebrow.
She has defended her choice by saying that Machala's Facebook profile and content preferences won't affect his role at the ministry, which will be largely 'bureaucratic'. She assures that she would have considered his social media activities more seriously if he were taking on an advisory position.
Details from the story:
- Lukáš Machala is the new assistant secretary of Slovak Education Minister Martina Lubyová
- He regularly shares conspiracy theories on Facebook
- He thinks Vladimir Putin can 'save the world' and that people should not trust the media
- Lubyová has been in office just for a month and many people hoped that she would run her ministry wisely because she is educated and, being new to politics, is likely not to be corrupted