Poll: Bulgarians top in EU in saying they are exposed to disinformation, fake news

Among the 27 European Union countries, Bulgarians have the highest percentage who say that they had often been exposed to disinformation and fake news in the past seven days, according to the results of a poll by Eurobarometer.

The Eurobarometer poll found that 55 per cent of Bulgarians said that they had been “very often” or “often” exposed to disinformation and fake news in the preceding seven days.

The poll, done in all EU countries between April 26 and May 11 2022, found the average across the bloc for those who said that they had been exposed to disinformation and fake news in the past seven days “very often” was 10 per cent, and “often”, 10 per cent.

Asked if they felt confident that they could recognise disinformation when they encountered it, 18 per cent of Bulgarians said that they were very confident and 49 per cent “somewhat confident”.

Asked which news sources they trusted the most, and allowed a maximum of three answers, 44 per cent of Bulgarians said that their most trusted news source was public television and radio stations, compared with an EU average of 49 per cent.

This was followed by “people, groups or friends I follow on social media or messaging platforms” 25 per cent, and “other online news platforms including blogs and podcasts” 23 per cent.

Twenty-one per cent said private television and radio stations, 19 per cent YouTube or other video platforms and 18 per cent the print press and its websites.

Again with multiple answers allowed, 86 per cent said that the media that they had most used to access news in the past seven days was television, followed by 60 per cent online news platforms, 47 per cent social media and blogs, 34 per cent radio and 13 per cent print media.

Asked what made it most likely that they would read an online news article, 60 per cent said that they would do so if the headline seemed relevant to their interests, 43 per cent because they trusted the news website, 35 per cent because the headline was “catchy” while trailing in fourth place, at 19 per cent, “it shows an interesting photo or video”.

(Photo: André Rainaud/freeimages.com)

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