Technologies against Disinformation 2.0, co-organized by BROD, gathered the best tech companies in Bulgaria

Published Wednesday 8 November 2023 at 17:10


Minister of Defence of Bulgaria, Todor Tagarev, and the Chairman of the e-Government and Information Technology Committee in the Bulgarian parliament, Bozhidar Bojanov.

The conference "Technologies against Disinformation 2.0" brought together the best Bulgarian technology companies working against disinformation.
The organizers of the second edition of the conference are representatives of the science and technology sector, in the face of the GATE Institute through the Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory for Digital Media (BROD) project and the companies Identrics, Ontotext and Sensika.
The event was opened by the Minister of Defence of Bulgaria, Todor Tagarev, and the Chairman of the e-Government and Information Technology Committee in the Bulgarian parliament, Bozhidar Bojanov. They agreed on the importance of the topic of disinformation and gave examples of global disinformation campaigns such as the one about the war in Ukraine. According to Minister Tagarev, there is no instrument developed at the state level to counter manipulative content and therefore "the main way to deal with disinformation is strategic communications." The Ministry of Defense does not have a sanctioning mechanism against disinformation, but has developed a strategy to counter hybrid warfare. In the words of Col. Dobril Radoslavov, disinformation is only one method of external interference and manipulation.

There was a significant representation of the BROD project partners at the event. Keith Kiley from GATE presented an analysis of media headlines related to public sentiment towards the adoption of the euro and the spread of propaganda against the European currency. Todor Galev from the Center for the Study of Democracy presented research related to the monetization of misinformation in Bulgaria. Eneya Georgieva from ONTOTEXT commented on how content is being reused in the information environment to misinform the public.
Irina Temnikova from GATE Institute presented the results of the Institute's project on the automatic detection of traces of purposefully disseminated false information in text format in Bulgarian language in social media.The toolkit includes the detection of traces of both targeted misinformation written by humans and that generated with DeepFake technologies (Keith Kiley, GATE Institute, St. Kliment Ohridski University).
Apart from the topics presented by the BROD partners, one of the highlights of the forum was the existing and necessary regulatory framework to counteract the dissemination of inauthentic content.In this context, Vasil Velichkov (Sensika) presented the requirements of the Digital Services Act and how it will be implemented in Bulgaria. This topic is yet to be much discussed and has generated a lot of interest.

The idiolects of propaganda, which the Foundation for Humanities Studies has been studying diachronically, were presented by Prof. Dimitar Vatsov. Of particular interest was the methodology for detecting misleading content, presented attractively by Todor Kiriakov and Devora Kotseva from A Data Pro. Martin Stamenov from Sensica demonstrated the strategies for detecting propaganda campaigns. The conference was closed by Vasil Shivachev from Identrics, who emphasized the sustainability of efforts against misinformation and the creation of an ecosystem to fight it.

Todor Galev from CSD

Todor Galev from CSD


Keith Kiely from BROD

Eneya Georgieva from Ontotex

Eneya Gueorgieva from Ontotext