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Policy brief

Disinformation Narratives in the November 2021 Bulgarian Elections Campaign: Key Actors and Amplifiers

Policy Brief No. 105

On November 14, 2021 Bulgaria is voting for president, and, for a third time this year, for parliament. Elections are happening in the midst of a perfect storm of crises: COVID-19 pandemic is at the height of its fourth wave with deaths at record high in global comparison, political instability and polarization have reached pitch high levels, and skyrocketing energy prices threaten social peace. This renders the country uniquely vulnerable to propaganda and disinformation . The deterioration of media freedom and the lack of any credible public policy responses to disinformation and social media polarization, have exposed voters to toxic cocktails of local and foreign propaganda ahead of the elections . This rapid reaction assessment, seeks to improve the understanding of the link between the use of disinformation messaging techniques and popular attitudes on key contemporary issues during the November 2021 election campaigns. It conducts a brief overview of the main social media communication patterns of political parties and candidates and tries to reveal possible influence over voting patterns.

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