Bulgarian Finance Minister Urges META to Combat Russian Propaganda Ahead of European Elections

Politics | February 9, 2024, Friday // 11:46
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Finance Minister Urges META to Combat Russian Propaganda Ahead of European Elections Asen Vassilev

In a concerted effort to tackle the pervasive issue of disinformation and misleading content, Bulgarian Finance Minister Asen Vassilev, along with Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov, engaged in discussions with executives from META, the parent company of popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The meeting, held in Washington, centered on strategies to curb the spread of Russian propaganda, particularly in the lead-up to the European elections.

During the discussions, Minister Vassilev underscored the urgency of addressing Russian propaganda on social media platforms before the upcoming European elections, emphasizing that proactive measures could yield a significant shift in user attitudes and garner support from EU regulators.

Citing instances where pro-European content has been removed from social networks based on signals from trolls, while disinformation continues to proliferate, Minister Vassilev expressed Bulgaria's deep concern over the Russian disinformation campaign. The campaign is aimed at eroding trust in European institutions, the United States, and NATO, posing a serious threat to democratic processes and international stability.

META executives presented Minister Vassilev with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) models designed to detect and remove manipulated images and misleading information from their platforms, showcasing their commitment to combating misinformation.

In a gesture of hospitality, META welcomed the Bulgarian ministers with traditional Bulgarian delicacies, including princesses, spinach pie, and sarmi, underscoring the importance of fostering strong partnerships in addressing complex global challenges.

Additionally, during his visit to Washington, Finance Minister Asen Vassilev met with the management of SpaceX, extending an invitation for them to visit Bulgaria in the fall. The company's vice president, Tim Hughes, expressed keen interest in Bulgaria, particularly in light of NASA administrator Bill Nelson's confirmed visit to the country in October 2024. SpaceX and NASA are collaborating on ambitious space programs aimed at advancing human exploration, including missions to the moon and Mars.

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Tags: Bulgaria, finance minister, Meta, Russian propaganda

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