FLOWS OF MISINFORMATION
In the last few years, in the public space around the world and in Bulgaria, there have been more and more frequent conversations about “misinformation“. And if at first glance the problem seems to be purely media-related, the spread of misleading or completely false information in the media is in fact a challenge to society as a whole and civil society organizations as one of its most active segments.
THE MISUSE OF INFORMATION CAN AFFECT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY.
Often, fake news and distorted facts disseminated online, and even in mainstream media relate precisely to the democratic values that we as a network have been defending for more than a decade. But in the months following the Russian invasion in February 2022, among the main targets of misinformation are people fleeing the war in Ukraine. That’s why we at Citizen Participation Forum started telling first-person stories about the plight of Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria. “From Ukrainians in Bulgaria, frankly” collects some of the experiences of several Ukrainian citizens who have sought refuge here. We also shared with you the impressions of Stoyka Terzieva, a hotelier who has been hiring employees from Ukraine for years – like dozens of her colleagues. We have also presented you with the perspective of volunteers, our colleagues, and supporters from civil society organizations who have supported those fleeing the war.
THE DELIBERATE SPREADING OF RUMOURS AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND THE PURPOSEFUL MANIPULATION OF CLAIMS ARE AT THE HEART OF DISINFORMATION. HOWEVER, THE UNCRITICAL REPRODUCTION OF THESE BY CONSUMERS OF INFORMATION IS NO LESS A PROBLEM.
To address the purposeful reproduction of false claims, in addition to real-life examples, we decided to join other organizations in improving our ability to comprehend information online – or so-called media literacy. How does disinformation propaganda work? Why is it important to counter it and how can we do it in practice? We asked the journalist Georgi Marchev, who is also part of the team of the Factcheck.bg platform, created on the initiative of the Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria.
Here you can see the last video in our series “For the meaningful causes“, dedicated to disinformation. In it, the main characters are again Nadia Shabani from the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Tsveta Nenova from Caritas Ruse, who is joined in this part by her colleague Vladislav Videnov, Denitsa Petrova, and Denis from Greenpeace Bulgaria and Tihomira Metodieva – Tihich.