Bozhidar Bozhanov, Bulgarian minister of E-Government, announced that the government introduced a bill requiring social networks to do more to identify fake, anonymous and troll profiles, causing continuous disturbance and scams.
He stated that the Bulgarian government determined to do this based on the recently adopted EU Digital Services Act, applying it to the election process where troll factories are particularly active.
Bozhanov stated that It is essential to emphasize that this will not happen based on the content (statuses, comments) but only on the basis of indirect signs detailed in the project. Neither the state nor social networks can resolve what is valid and what is not.
He noted that government also arrange the out-of-court settlement of disputes related to moderation provided for in the regulation. For example, if Facebook blocked anyone for 30 days, it would no longer be the highest instance.
Minister Bozhanov said, ”Speaking of moderation, we’re also introducing subcontractor transparency. We need to know who decides what to delete and what not on behalf of Facebook. Social networks will also have to indicate the owner of these subcontractors”.
Regarding automatic moderation, Bozhanov commented, “We recommend that the businesses that have chosen to conduct moderation possess a particular level of Bulgarian language proficiency. Because trolls profit most from automatic moderation, we cannot rely on it”.
Today, the E-government minister is scheduled to speak at two meetings with the IAB Bulgaria conference and Sensika’s anti-disinformation hackathon, where bills and solutions are to be proposed to fake and troll profiles.
While giving the statement, Bozhanov remarked, “The subject is delicate, and many people shy away from it. We approach responsibly, with full respect for freedom of speech and to ensure it not just with the possibility to appeal decisions, but also with the fact that citizens’ voices are not silenced by trolls and drowned in propaganda”.