The Code has been devised to serve as a conduct guide for all those who are in some way involved in electoral processes (and referenda) and who may influence the public in favour of a campaign during elections or referenda.

The objective is manifold:

  • – to ensure the integrity of information during elections and referenda;
  • – to ensure the transparency of political advertising and its funding;
  • – to guarantee the privacy and safety of citizens’ personal data on the Internet during electoral cycles and referenda;
  • – to prevent the spread of disinformation (false, incomplete, fake or malicious information), hate speech and discrimination on any grounds, and
  • – to strengthen citizens’ trust by providing a favourable environment and conditions for adherence to the legally guaranteed rights and the freedom of expression and information.



The Code of Conduct in the Online Sphere during Electoral Processes and Referenda was prepared on the initiative of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, in collaboration with the Association of Journalists of Macedonia, the Macedonian Institute for Media, the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, the Institute of Communication Studies and the Metamorphosis Foundation.

OSCE/ODIHR took part in the process as well, with its own expertise.



The Code’s scope includes a number of entities, such as:

  • – the political parties and their candidates, the independent candidates, and their conduct in the online sphere (including on the social networks) during electoral cycles and referenda;
  • – the internet editions (or, more precisely, the websites) of radio and television stations;
  • – the online media (better known as internet portals);
  • – the fact checkers, and
  • – the influencers and other entities that may influence the public in favour of an electoral or a referendum campaign.

The principles and standards prescribed in the Code are of an ethical nature, which is why compliance with it is on a voluntary basis, by signing an Accession Form. The Code is not a substitute for the existing or any future legal rules and regulations, but shall serve as a tool that calls to individual responsibility the entities it refers to.

For these reasons, a Coordinating Body has been established to monitor adherence to the Code, while the citizens and all interested parties can submit complaints that shall be responded to in a timely and appropriate manner.

The Code of Conduct in the Online Sphere during Electoral Processes and Referenda is available at this link.