Lakmusz quarterly report - Q1 2023

In the first quarter of 2023, we have published more than 50 articles and reached 470 thousand readers.

After closing the first year of the Lakmusz project in January 2023 (and presenting our results at the Fighting Disinformation conference), our project has entered a new phase: 

thanks to our successful application, Lakmusz continues to operate as part of the extended Hungarian Digital Media Observatory (HDMO-Lakmusz) for 30 months from the beginning of 2023. 

During the first three months of operation of our extended anti-disinformation project in 2023 (February - April 2023), we published 57 articles on Lakmusz (11 of which were supplied by our partner, the AFP news agency). Out of all the articles published, 36 were fact-checks of specific claims, while the rest of our material dealt with the disinformation environment in a broader sense in the form of analyses, interviews and podcasts.

Of our fact-checkers, 12 covered the Russian-Ukrainian war (and its economic impact), 21 covered public life and politics, and 7 covered health and science.


In the first quarter of 2023, we reached 471,000 readers. Our most-read stories were:

  1. Experts say it is “science fiction” nonsense to claim that a US research programme caused the earthquakes in Turkey - 63,000 readers
  2. A lynch mob has formed around the hunter who allegedly shot a Swiss wolf - his 'confession' is actually a parody - 46,000 readers
  3. Did a live pig really get scorched in a pig-slaughtering competition? - 35 thousand readers
  4. The false image of Judit Varga and György Schadl continues to spread - 29 thousand readers
  5. Did Putin really kneel to Xi Jinping? We show you how to spot suspicious AI images - 28 thousand readers


Beyond fact-checking 

In addition to our fact-checking, we are also increasingly focusing on producing materials that not only investigate a certain claim, but also explore the workings of the disinformation environment from different perspectives. 

Artificial intelligence

One of the hottest topics in recent months has been the rapid development of AI technologies, and their potential effects on our daily lives and how we perceive our reality, including facts and evidence - and what we can believe to be “real”. This topic has also been in Lakmusz’ focus:

  • We wrote an article about how to recognise AI-generated images;
  • We organised a discussion and wrote an article about the impact of AI on our lives - and tested whether AI could do the job of journalists and fact-checkers.

Investigations, analysis

We've carried out investigations to uncover who are behind anonymous social media sites that spread false information or content that incites hatred. For example, we found that:

  • The Facebook-site that anonymously doxxed participants of an antifa protests is linked to a former instructor of Hungary’s Counter Terrorism Centre;
  • A mysterious Tiktokker, whose videos are used by pro-government media to spread Russian propaganda - in reality is of Russian origin

In addition, we analysed the content and background of one of the most influential public YouTube channels, which is fond of spreading Russian disinformation:

  • Ultrahang's recipe for success: György Nógrádi, the media empire around the Congregation of Faith and a good dose of disinformation


In 2023, we have also launched a monthly podcast series: we are working with the Blinken OSA Archive to present, with the help of archive documents, how propaganda and disinformation worked before Hungary’s regime change - and how it works today. 

  • In March, we discussed how the image of a Hungarian poet, Sándor Petőfi was used and is being used for political purposes
  • And in April, to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, we discussed how the centrally controlled media reported (and currently reports) on sensitive events

Social media


Lakmusz's social media presence has continued to grow, we are currently available on these platforms: 

Facebook - 12,000 followers

Instagram - 2400 followers

Twitter - 1074 followers

Newsletter - 1033 subscribers

TikTok - 300 followers

In addition, the social media platforms of the HDMO project were launched, where we will be publishing information about the activities of all consortium members:




The Hungarian version of this report is available here, and our previous reports here.

Zöldi Blanka
Zöldi Blanka, a Lakmusz főszerkesztője közel tíz éve dolgozik újságíróként. 2014-ben az Origónál kezdte pályáját, majd az Abcúgnál dolgozott, később pedig Brüsszelben foglalkozott gazdasági újságírással. 2017-től a Direkt36 oknyomozó központ újságírója, majd szerkesztője volt. Részt vett több nemzetközi nyomozásban és az Orbán család állami üzleteinek feltárásában. Óraadóként rendszeresen oktat egyetemeken, oknyomozó újságírás kurzust tartott például az ELTE-n és a Metropolitan Egyetemen.