Content moderation has for years been a contentious topic of discussion within academia and the public policy realm. The spread of information, misinformation, disinformation or the so-called ‘fake news’ especially during the Covid pandemic has been facilitated by the means of social media platforms, and this has brought the issue of moderation even further into the spotlight. Misleading information regarding public health could lead to devastating consequences, making the issue of moderation an essential element for its curbing. From discussions about more regulation, to increasing transparency and accountability of platforms, or giving more power and responsibility to the users, there have been numerous ideas and proposals to address the issue, all receiving their fair share of criticism. This whole debate on how to move forward, should however, take into account the opinions and perceptions of the ‘ordinary users’ of social media platforms, and research on those, especially outside of the United States is still scarce. Cultural norms, political contexts, historical backgrounds, or different legislations all have an impact on how content moderation practices should be addressed and how users would perceive them, so further research is necessary into how those conditions should be accounted for. Therefore, this research aims to answer the question: How do users in Bulgaria perceive content moderation on social media in light of widespread misinformation about Covid vaccines? The results mostly go in line with what has been suggested by previous studies, in terms of the importance of increasing transparency in content moderation practices, reluctance towards the motivations of platforms for doing content moderation and skepticism towards more regulation from the government. Furthermore, this study shows that users understand the complexity of the issue and admit that they should also be placed with some responsibility regarding online content.

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René König
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Daiana Danova. (2022, June 27). More moderation, more problems? A qualitative study on the perceptions of Bulgarian users surrounding the debate of content moderation and increasing regulation on social media. Media & Business. Retrieved from