For the second consecutive year, the GATE Institute was a co-organizer of the “Technologies Against Disinformation 2.0” conference. The forum revealed the current trends in the information war in the digital space, examined methodologies for detecting manipulative content and presented technological solutions developed in Bulgaria to combat disinformation. With the participation of academia, companies and non-governmental organizations, the event became a significant step towards creating an ecosystem of stakeholders to combat disinformation.
The companies Identrics, Ontotext и Sensika also joined as co-organizers of the second edition of the conference, which took place on November 7 in Sofia.
The event was opened by Todor Tagarev, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria and Bozhidar Bozhanov, Chairman of the Committee on Electronic Government and Information Technologies in the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria. They emphasized the importance of the topic of disinformation and gave examples of global disinformation campaigns such as the one about the war in Ukraine.
One of the highlights of the forum was the existing and necessary regulatory framework to counter the spread of false content. In this context, Vasil Velichkov (Sensika) presented the requirements of the Digital Services Act and how it will be implemented in Bulgaria.
Todor Galev (Center for the Study of Democracy) examined the mechanisms and technological means that turn fake news into a profitable business.
Of particular interest was the research and analysis of techniques for presenting misleading content during the local elections in Bulgaria (Todor Kiryakov, Devora Kotseva, A Data Pro), as well as the study of public sentiments towards the adoption of the euro and the spread of propaganda “for” and “against” the European currency (Keith Kiely, GATE Institute).
In the technology session, Identrics, Ontotext and Sensika presented their technology solutions and tools to detect and combat disinformation. Irina Temnikova, (GATE Institute) presented the results of a project of the Institute for the automatic detection of traces of purposefully disseminated false information in text format in Bulgarian on social media. The toolkit includes trace detection of both targeted disinformation written by humans and deep-fake generated.