Subtitle 

The strange case of the web site ‘Bivol.bg’

11.11.2012 - 10:48

A curious internet site, named ‘Bivol’ has been operating in Bulgaria since July 2010. In this country, where young people are very ‘tech-savvy,’ it is not unusual to discover a multitude of internet sites, covering all the spectrum of activities, from e-commerce to music and movie downloading, to news… 

But the case of ‘Bivol’ is different; this site is one of the most active in so-called ‘investigative journalism.’ It is supposed to offer news that other media prefer to hide; or, to present cases from a different angle, placing the emphasis on the ‘dark spots’ of the financial system, or the political elite.

In fact, reality is different. Despite its claim to propose quality journalism, the website is using openly circulating half-truths, rumours, and even manipulation or information at the limit of calumny, which have nothing to do with  standards of the quality press and online journalism.

Curiously enough, this sort of ‘information  creates for the public the sense of uncovering  conspiracies, reinforcing its prejudices. The fact that this site is treating topics that are missing from the other media attracts interest and brings traffic to ‘Bivol’. A not negligible part of the audience consider the site as a trustworthy and reliable source of information, despite of absurdity of its stories, which is obvious to an experienced eye. 

The owners of ‘Bivol’, Asen Nedyalkov Yordanov and Alberta Leon Alkalai, and their associate partner Atanas Chobanov, know well what they are doing. By exciting the curiosity of their audience, they manage to reinforce their own position of power. So, it does not come as a surprise that businessmen, politicians, financial organisations and companies are the primary targets of this medium. The fact that the site’s articles are not translated into English or French, makes it even more suspicious that European and American partners of Bulgarian companies are systematically aware of the contents of the site…