Since 2013, civil society in Bulgaria has demonstrated its capacity to affect politics, but for several reasons its ability to do so is still quite limited. The advent of social media has brought about an explosion of self-expression and communication possibilities, but this has not always worked to strengthen civil society. Rather, it has often allowed disinformation to thrive and made it possible to discredit anyone, thus reducing the trust in civil society organizations and nurturing nationalism and populism. This problem is coupled with the reduced role of traditional media and the absence of both a common civil society strategy to affect politics and a positive vision for Bulgaria's development.
However, positive examples of success in business, science and civil society, can have an empowering effect on the individual and stimulate them to act. Through a series of live and online debates, workshops, lectures and informal meetings, the platform Reality Check will seek to put new ideas and practices in the spotlight, promote private initiative and innovation, counter disinformation by revealing the mechanisms of its production and promoting the culture of fact-checking, thus giving citizens the tools to impact political processes.
Photo credit: Paul Stein