A political scientist, a political communications expert and a regional mayor have discussed with young people in Plovdiv the influence of the fake news on the European elections
“Fake news can not influence elections in which people have decided and gone voting. For more than thirty years I have been working on campaigns and I know that where people want to change something, they want to vote for someone and want things to happen, nothing is able to change their decision. During elections, we have the power to impose our decision. You should understand that the more you vote, the more politicians’ bills on how the election results would look like get flurried. This is always a good news for us, the citizens. It is important that our interests are protected. “
This was stated by the political scientist Assoc. Prof. Tatyana Burudzhieva on Friday in Plovdiv. She, together with the political communications expert Prof. Rossen Stoyanov and the mayor of the Plovdiv region “South” Borislav Inchev, participated in a discussion with students and young people in Plovdiv on the topic: “Can the fake news threaten the European elections?”. The debate took place at the Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. The Chairman of the youth organization of BSP in the “city of the 7 hills and current MP Teodora Halacheva as well as Miroslav Tenev, Chairman of the youth organization of GERB in Plovdiv were present at the event as well.
“You have to realize that whenever there is news, it has been reported by someone. This one has some purpose. In the case of the fake news, the intention is important,” said Tatyana Burudzhieva to the young people. According to her, one of the biggest problems in this sphere is the lack of critical thinking, which is why people often believe in completely unreal information without questioning it.
Professor Rossen Stoyanov has called the young people to strive for more awareness and critical thinking. He told them to make more effort to reach the information. “This is a pill that will not cure us completely, but it will help us a lot,” the professor said. According to him fake news thrives where awareness lacks. The fake news thrives where there is a low level of education and lack of awareness, and where the value system is broken and destroyed. The only way to fight them is the intellectual approach. “In the world of digital technologies, we are the active part”, Prof. Stoyanov said.
“Europe – it’s you! Europe is here and now!”, the professor addressed the young people.
According to the Mayor of the Southern Region of Plovdiv, Borislav Inchev, Bulgarian society is increasingly ready to put questions of responsibility in its different dimensions, and the time has already come for people who generate fake news to be held responsible, including those who distribute it afterwards.
“The most important thing is that everyone will go voting. This means that with your voice you have expressed your opinion and give trust to the person or organization you voted for, to defend the things you believe in, “said Inchev to the students and the young people.
During the discussion, the role of traditional media as well as social networks in contemporary society was raised.
The youngsters have shown exclusive activity during the debate as well as good knowledge of topical issues in society, which often cause fake news.
The debate in Plovdiv is the third one of the planned five discussions with students, young people and people from vulnerable groups in different cities in Bulgaria. Before Plovdiv, debates took place in Veliko Tarnovo and Vratza. The aim of all of them is to raise awareness among young Bulgarians on certain topics related to the European Union and to pay attention to the importance of exercising the right to vote in the European elections on May 26th. The Forum in Plovdiv is part of the project “Europe Hears You. Vote!”, which the Bulgarian School of Politics” Dimitry Panitza” implements with the support of the European Parliament.