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About us

Transparency of Funding

Our funders play no role in our fact-checking process. Staffed by independent media professionals, Factcheck.bg has no personal or institutional relations with any individuals, institutions or political entities covered in Bulgaria or other countries. Please read here about our editorial independence.

Small Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy

Factcheck.bg received support from the U.S. Embassy Sofia Small Grants Program for fact-checking trainings for journalists, students and activists from January - November 2021. The support also covered the organization of a fact-checking competition on the topic: “Human Rights as a Target of Disinformation Campaigns.” The U.S. Embassy plays no role in any of these activities – editorial, supervisory or otherwise – and they are entirely managed and implemented by Factcheck.bg.

European Parliament contract

From May - September 2021, Factcheck.bg implemented the project "DetecDisinfoNet" with funding provided by the European Parliament. The objective was to fund the production and publication of fact-checking on European-wide topics including the pandemic, energy, human rights and foreign policy. All the fact checks published under this grant are clearly marked as such and the European Parliament played no role beyond funding. The editor of Factcheck.bg examines every story assignment for potential conflicts of interest and takes full responsibility for the choice of topics and how they are fact-checked. From December 2021 to July 2022, Factcheck.bg again received financing from the European Parliament for another project whose objective is to build and grow the fact-checking community.

Active Citizens Fund

In October 2021 Factcheck.bg started a new project to cultivate a community of scientist fact-checkers and collaborate with Factcheck.bg and its team of journalists. The project is supported by the Active Citizens Fund [ACF] in Bulgaria. Funded by donors Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and administered by the Open Society Institute - Sofia, the goal of the ACF is to foster civil society development. The grant includes developing a methodology for scientific fact-checking; setting up a system to coordinate fact-checking collaborations between scientists and journalists; fact-checking training for scientists; and the production of fact checks to be published on the site. The project ends in October 2023.

NATO Public Diplomacy Programme

Factcheck.bg received funding from the NATO Public Diplomacy Programme to produce 6 fact checks and 4 short videos for the site from October 1 - December 31 2021. The funding is dedicated to supporting fact-checking in NATO member states generally and NATO exercises no influence over the choice of claims to check nor the way in which they are verified. All published reports supported under the program will be clearly marked as such.

Countering Disinformation Innovation Fund, U.S. Department of State

The project “Boosting the factchecking capacity of Factcheck.bg” is funded by Counter State Disinformation Innovation Fund and consists of the production of at least 18 actual factchecks on political statements and other disinformation narratives and campaigns in the social and traditional media. The project’s objectives are to increase the speed and depth of fact-checking coverage of critical events in Bulgarian and around the world, such as the war in Ukraine. An additional objective is to create a more trustworthy, robust media environment by providing free and much-needed content on timely issues to Bulgaria’s beleaguered independent media who have limited resources to research and respond to disinformation. The project’s period is 1 October 2022- 31 March 2023.

Detect and Check Disinformation, U.S. Department of State

The project “Boosting the fact checking community in Bulgaria” is implemented in partnership with Poynter institute for media studies and consists of three main activities. In the first the partners developed a fact-checking program and guide designed to equip Bulgarian national and regional journalists and journalism students with the skills to identify disinformation in Bulgaria and to develop effective fact-checking measures to counter it. The next element consists of training 12 fact-checkers from Factcheck.bg and other media to become professional fact-checking trainers. The third element is the fact-checking academy which has two sessions - summer and autumn, to train 100 regional journalists and journalism students.

European Media and Information Fund

The project “Combat disinformation in a sustainable way - COMDISWAY” is implemented with the financial support of the European Media and Information Fund, managed by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The sole responsibility of the content lies with Factcheck.bg and does not necessarily reflect the positions of EMIF and the Fund Partners, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European University Institute.

The project aims to develop a systematic and sustainable strategy to tackle the disinformation in Bulgaria related to critical events. The project rationale is to fight the disinformation with a model that involves prebunking, debunking and updates on the most sensitive topics which, based on our experience, will be part once again of the disinformation landscape.

The project’ team will search for disinformation in two ways - in the isolated Bulgarian Facebook groups and through international partnerships (the IFCN, Science+) and other fact-checking platforms (EDMO, EU vs Disinfo). This way, the project will be able to address both local disinformation discourses and major narratives popular in Central and Eastern European countries.

For the articles on disinformation about the war in Ukraine and its broader context,Factcheck.bg will continue to translate these articles into Ukrainian and to increase their reach via a partnership with the Ukrainian fact-checker StopFake. StopFake.org will republish Factcheck.bg articles in Ukrainian. It will also provide the team with consultation on Ukrainian topics throughout the whole project cycle.

European Parliament: “Project: (Fact)Check and vote!”

Period: December 2023-May 2024

The project objective is to raise awareness and build resilience among first-time voters, but also the general public towards information manipulation related to EE2024 and to help growing the EP’s together.eu community. The strategy will aim to reach and engage first time and young voters, media professionals, civil society organizations representatives and ordinary citizens.

For the period of the 6-month project the team will produce and publish on factcheck.bg at least 12 fact-checks, disinformation analysis or prebunking related to the European Elections in 2024 and its repercussions in Bulgaria covering the main anti-EU narratives as monitored by factcheck.bg. The activities include concept developing and providing speakers for 6 fact-checking workshops on EE2024 for first-time voters aimed at increasing their capacity to identify and build resilience towards disinformation related to EU and European elections in 2024, building awareness for the need of fact-checking and increasing media literacy.

Google partnership

The Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria (AEJ) and Google have launched a new partnership as a joint effort to promote media literacy and counter disinformation in Bulgaria. Google’s funding will allow for the scale and reach of Factcheck.bg to grow, which will enable AEJ to enlarge its team, establish at least 5 new partnerships with media outlets and double their online audience (website views and social media followers). At least 96 fact-checks will be made on various actual topics in the framework of the project. The project period is July 2023 - July 2024.

European Fact-Checking Standards Network and Google

Factcheck.bg is collaborating in a project with the European Fact-Checking Standards Network (EFCSN) and a coalition of over 40 fact-checking organisations across Europe to create a comprehensive fact-checking database focused on the 2024 European Parliament Elections. The project is supported by Google and was officially launched on 21 March 2024.

This first-of-its-kind open database collects and categorises political fact-checks, disinformation debunks, prebunking articles and narrative reports on transcontinental trends reported by a coalition of 40+ fact-checking organisations across Europe in a project known as Elections24Check.

It emphasises checks on claims made related to the 2024 European Elections. Users can search and filter for articles in different languages, relating to specific countries and political parties, and pertaining to certain topics, such as climate change and security and defence. The goal is to increase cross-country collaboration and act as a resource for European citizens ahead of the vote in June.

As part of the project, statistical information about disinformation trends during the election will become available as organisations input their data, and researchers will have the ability to request access to a full dataset.

Meta's third-party fact-checking program

As of March 1, 2024, Factcheck.bg is partnering with Meta on a third-party fact-checking program.

Factcheck.bg will review and assess the accuracy of content in Bulgaria, in addition to the work AFP (Agence France-Presse) is already doing in the country. As part of Meta's fight against the spread of misinformation, Meta partners with independent fact-checkers from around the world who review and assess the accuracy of content. When a fact-checker rates a piece of information as untrustworthy, Meta begins to display it further down the news feed, significantly reducing its spread. This prevents the spread of misinformation and reduces the number of people who see it. Pages and domains that re-share misinformation will also see a drop in distribution and will be denied the opportunity to monetize and run ads. When a post is flagged as false information, Meta warns users who see it or attempt to share it that it contains false claims. Fact-checkers do not remove posts, accounts or pages from Facebook or Instagram.

Fact-checkers do not take down content - posts, accounts or pages - from Facebook or Instagram. Meta limits the spread of false news and questionable content like clickbait and alerts users, giving them more context about the posts they see.

More information: Q&A