The project “Are you lying?” is back with its fourth edition. Daniel Yanev is among the founders of this platform.
“Its purpose is to check during election campaigns whether the candidates for people’s representatives, local government, European institutions or president are spreading false information.” Daniel Yanev, who is one of the co-founders of “Are you lying”, said this on the air of the “12+3” show.
The main reason we do it is that it is rarely documented in our country, he explained. “At the end of the election campaign, we publish a table with false statements of all the candidates. That way, people will be able to remember which candidate spread false information. Our idea is to cure the short memory of Bulgarians”.
During the election campaign for parliament, from 09/02/2022 to 30.09.2022, the team of “Are you lying” will follow the participation of 15 candidates for people’s representatives who have a chance to enter the parliament. Their interviews and participation in nationally broadcast debates will be followed.
Two candidates each from the parties and coalitions who have a chance to enter the next parliament have been elected. The choice was also made based on how often they appeared on the air in recent months, and also based on the experience of previous election campaigns, Yanev said. “So our sample has some representativeness because all the candidates have almost equal airtime.”
We do not use the word lie, he declared. “We use the term ‘false statement.’ It seems to me personally that politicians have not stopped spreading false information. They often exaggerate numbers and when it comes to attacks between the ruling party and the opposition, they make controversial claims.”
The platform has 6,000 followers on Facebook.
“We hope that we can at least influence their opinion and give them the opportunity to make an informed decision when they vote,” Yanev is emphatic.
We strive to be as objective as possible and refute and include in tables all statements that do not correspond to reality, he stated. “We do not have a category of ‘Slightly false statement’ or ‘Gross attempt at misinformation.’ We leave it to our followers to judge for themselves.”
There are also politicians who did not make false statements, but usually they had less airtime, explained Yanev.
How the media behaves with the candidates depends on the preparation of the presenter, he believes. “Some are relatively critical. In most cases, their time is limited and they have no time to refute the false statement,” he explained.
The financing is entirely with the personal funds of the team members, there are no donations, no reliance on grants or external funding, Yanev explained. “Our costs are limited to the purchase of a domain for the website. The checks, the making of the graphs and tables, of the posts on Facebook, is entirely on a voluntary basis.”
You can listen to the interview of Snezhana Ivanova with Daniel Yanev in the program “12+3” from the sound file.