The Prosecutor General was victim of an organized attack in the popular online encyclopedia, in an attempt to compromise him abroad. Identifying the specific author would not make it difficult for the services, but it is not necessary. The content of Ivan Geshev's profiles in the Bulgarian and English versions of Wikipedia is drastically different.
The nomination of Ivan Geshev as "Prosecutor №1" in the second half of July 2019 provoked violent reactions among a group of businessmen, the subject of numerous prosecutorial investigations and pending criminal cases, led by Ivo Prokopiev. A protest was immediately convened, led by former Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov, on whose judicial reform, in fact, Geshev was proposed by the Prosecutorial College of the Supreme Judicial Council. And if this is only the visible side of the organized resistance against the election of the then Deputy Prosecutor General, it turns out that there was a second plan, which, however, remained hidden.
Two weeks after the presentation of Ivan Geshev's candidacy in the "free" online encyclopedia Wikipedia, an unknown user (hidden behind the pseudonyms - ChikkenTikka and MainlyTwelve) made a profile of the magistrate in English. Thus, in just two days - August 6 and 7, 2019, without even suspecting, Ivan Geshev gained a very negative reading of his personality and career in the popular online encyclopedia. What is even more remarkable is that this is done not in Bulgarian, but in English.
The analysis of the material shows that the author seems to be quite well acquainted with the processes in the judiciary. Emphasis is placed on the work of Ivan Geshev as a supervising prosecutor in the Corporate Commercial Bank case with the main defendant - Pharaoh Tsvetan Vassilev, who is hiding in Serbia. The selection of materials is made in such a way as to give precedence to the defense thesis of the "fugitive banker".
Much of the information addressed to Geshev has been copied from publications in Dnevnik and Club Z, which have been used for years as a tool to put pressure on the Prosecution by their accused publishers. References are also made to the website of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, as well as to other online publications known for their negative publications and propaganda against the state prosecution for years.
Identifying the particular author would probably not be difficult for the services, although in this case this is not necessary. Unlike "wet orders", where the relationship between a guarantor and a contractor is sometimes difficult to trace, information wars leave traces and the motives are easy to establish.
It seems that even during Geshev's nomination, his opponents ordered his denigration, not so much domestically as internationally, namely aimed at consumers who are interested in what is happening in our country and use only English.
Thus, every EU Commissioner, member of European Parliament or official in Brussels, diplomat in Sofia, foreign investor or journalist, typing in the search engine the name of the Prosecutor General of Bulgaria, will receive information from Wikipedia, which is tendentiously selected from publications with owners - clients of the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office. The latter, of course, remains hidden from consumers.
The fact that Ivan Geshev has been the subject of a defamatory PR campaign on Wikipedia since his nomination, in order to discredit him and the possible failure of his election, is evidenced by the fact that a Wikipedia report on the current Prosecutor General of Bulgaria, prepared in English language, is much more detailed than that in Bulgarian. In fact, Geshev acquired a profile in Bulgarian in the online encyclopedia in early February 2019, when for the first time in public his name began to be associated as a possible candidate for successor to Sotir Tsatsarov.
The difference between the Bulgarian and English versions of the profile of "Prosecutor №1" is more than obvious. The content in Bulgarian fits in three sections, while in English it is in seven. In the Bulgarian version the references - links to cited publications - are under 30, while in the English version they are 70.
All this clearly proves that the author of the English version was far from driven by good intentions to enrich the knowledge of English-speaking Internet users interested in what is happening in Bulgaria, but rather was strongly motivated by a far more useful purpose. This greatly violates the principles and ethical rules of Wikipedia.
For years, the company has been criticized for allowing its platform to be used precisely to discredit individuals and companies. Formally editing manipulative information is possible, but difficult to achieve. Because most often the authors who undertake to defame someone in Wikipedia have higher administrative rights and even if their information is removed, they can restore it. And it's no secret that there are many PR companies that specialize in this - fabricating fake news and maintaining a database of paid trolls.
The press center of the Prosecutor's Office declined to comment on the content of Ivan Geshev's profiles on Wikipedia and especially in English, on the grounds that they contain a lot of fake news and untruths. The Prosecutor’s Office clarified that anyone who would like to receive reliable information about the Prosecutor General can do so through his official website, as well as on the institution's website.
The attack on Ivan Geshev is not a precedent. And many other public figures in our country have been subject of the black PR. In this case, however, the negative effect is at the expense of the image of the Prosecution and the state as a whole. Because a year and two months after the English-language profile of the current Prosecutor General on Wikipedia was commissioned, his opponents have apparently failed in their attempts to discredit him in front of foreign representatives.
To date, Ivan Geshev has even more enemies who do not want him to lead the Prosecution, so we can only expect hybrid attacks against the Prosecutor’s Office to multiply.