The strange case of the web site ‘Bivol.bg’ (part 2)
Last week, we mentioned the case of Bivol.bg, a strange internet site, operating in Bulgaria for two years.
The site enjoys a high popularity, as it is famous for exposing ‘stories’ that are not usually found in the mainstream media; it takes pride in presenting itself as the closest copycat of the famous US site “Wikileaks,” although without having access to the archive of secret services, as Wikileaks has. And still, part of the audience consider this site as a trustworthy and ignores the fact that its sources are unknown, and the ‘facts’ it presents are not always compatible with reality…
The usual targets of Bivol.bg are businessmen and politicians, large companies, banks, and political parties. In short, all those who, in the eyes of many people are ‘guilty’ of some imaginary crime, just because they are successful in their activity.
The following example is characteristic of the morality of the site. Earlier this year, Bivol.bg published a ‘document’ supposedly coming from the US Embassy in Sofia, and analysing the Bulgarian banking system. The document, among others, was questioning the operations of four Bulgarian banks, stating allegations of money laundering and other illicit actions. No specific operations were mentioned, just general accusations and wishful thinking…
The ‘investigators’ of Bivol.bg, Atanas Tchobanov and Assen Yordanov thought that they had caught a big fish. In reality, they had nothing, but thin air.
The banks reacted to protect their reputation, and also appealed to the Central Bank (BNB), claiming defamation. Mesrs. Tchobanov and Yordanov got in a difficult position; after enquiry, the allegations of their site proved completely false and fabricated, crediting the opinion that their ‘document’ was only a means of exerting pressure and get some financial benefit.
In fact, quite the opposite happened: they found themselves liable to indemnification of those whose reputation they tried to tarnish.