Here is what we are doing and why. Also answering why we work from Moldova.
A little bit more about us
This post was inspired from some conversations we had in some Facebook groups ( I will not name them as admins were very helpful in discouraging xenophobic comments). .
To be honest, we never considered that opening a publishing business for UK with a start up in Moldova could be suspicious. After all most of mass media in Eastern Europe is owned by western companies. We are actually proud to have started this project from Moldova and that is why we published our address on the website from Day 1 and we plan to keep it that way.
But, as some of the Facebook comments on our links are starting with “This site is from MOLDOVA. DO NOT TRUST” we thought that would be wise to have this post. After all everybody has the right to be wrong sometimes.
This start up was created in Republic of Moldova by me ( Dorin Constantin Todosi) and some other expat friends.
We live here, and I guess that is the first reason. So:
I’m from Romania and I've been for many years an international political & communication advisor in Moldova. You can check my Linkedin profile to learn more.
Also, as you can imagine, the costs to start up an online project in Moldova is dramatically reduced in the alpha stage (rent, design team, even costs of living).
I would recommend Moldova as a start up location to anyone across Europe. Good tech people at decent rates, friendly environment, good wine and amazing fruits and vegetables. For more serious info you can check Start UP Grind in Moldova.
DCFTA agreement with EU
Moldova has a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with EU since 2014. You can check more on the DCFTA Moldova-EU website.(English switch up on the left corner).
As for us. eventually, we will relocate because we would love to live on the see shore somewhere, but that is not possible for so many decent, hard working people that will continue to work and hope to see Moldova part of European community someday.
So, now let me ask you: What would you advice me? Should I move in a western country so you can trust me? Should we “mind our own business” and talk/work/publish only on Moldovan politics? If you do think that, please stop visiting our website. We do not accept or tolerate xenophobia. (Hey, you there, I know you don't think that. This was just for some jhvbjhbjsdh people that really pushed me to write all this.
Otherwise we are fun and are easy going ( or at least we like to think so) and we love to talk about our projects. Just contact us.
Since we are here, I’ll take the time to answer other smart comments that we’ve seen over the last year of activity.
“They don’t use native English”
Our answer: Really? No, we are not native English speakers but most of the time our English is ok. If you can tolerate someone in London with a non native accent I guess you can tolerate us. Or not.
“They are not British. Why do they say it is BRITISH opinions? Fakenews!!!!” (it is actually a real comment).
Our answer: Because ALL the opinions expressed on the website (comments, political leaders, etc.) are British.
And also because most of our articles are covering British opinions on different topics.
We don’t vote in our own flash polls and we do not express OUR opinions. We are proud that we are trusted by 150K + people from UK to express their opinions.
“They harvest data, Moldovan Cambridge Analyca. Do not VOTE!”
NOPE. We are not in business of harvesting, selling or eating your data. Not legal by GDPR btw ;).
All the emails collected are property and will stay as assets of the company.
We do some email marketing, and here is how it works: Once someone subscribes to our email newsletter they will receive informative emails regarding opinion panels (owned by recognized and registered polling companies from UK - Yougov, Toluna, Ipsos). They have to option to register there (on their website) and yes, as we are cutting marketing expenses for these companies in their legitimate efforts to recruit new respondents, and for our efforts we will get a certain remuneration. The remuneration is subject to UK taxes etc.
“Who’s paying you to do this? Are you a Russian Troll?”
Such a candid question. Isn’t it?
Nooo. Нееет. Nem. Nuuu. :D
Not everyone in Eastern Europe is a zombie controlled by Kremlin. Actually is quite offensive to say/question that. More than 3 million people live in Moldova and more than 80 million people live in similar ex soviet republics. Most of this people don’t have nice memories from the Soviet gulag, and do not support Putin. Some of them do, but most of them are old and nostalgic.
Distrusting someone only for the place they call home is xenophobic and counterproductive as you fuel Russian propaganda narrative about “arrogant westerners”. So stop asking that, pretty please.
How we do get our investments back? You can see ads on our website? I hope you can, as the ads are our main source of income. We strugle not place more than 2 banners on one page and we hope is doesn't bother you too much.
Another dramatic pause*******
That was about what we don’t do. Now let’s talk about what we do.
Most of my work is related to political language analysis, (side effects on political campaigning like hate speech, xenophobia, etc.) and also strategies to promote civic activism, constructive dialogue etc. in different societies. (specifically Ireland, Spain and Moldova, and now UK). So I wanted to use this experience in a project that actually inform and help reconcile.
So, here is what we do:
We inform trough engagement. The informative articles ( news based always on multiple, balanced sources) are more likely to be read when there is engagement (voting, commenting, etc). Why? In order to keep civic activism err... active, it is always useful to involve people in the process and empower them to express their views. That is British Opinions now, and this is the first step.
So, here is what we will do very soon:
(experimenting yet) We plan to achieve something called "extracting semantic key concepts" (like democracy, immigration, gender equality etc.) used in the debates on certain subjects (like Brexit, EU membership, etc.).
You see, the focus is on the written comments not on the people writing the comments (anonymization of data before collecting as by GDPR).
Our findings will be public and hopefully the traffic generated will generate income from ads to payback the efforts.
What is the public use of what we are doing
We would be able to answer what concerns people when they debate about immigration, what values are at stake when they debate a second ref. etc. This will be useful especially to reconcile the British society (and I believe that is a generally accepted national goal in UK).
So, I truly hope that all of your concerns have been addressed and all of your questions answered.
Dorin Constantin Todosi
Chief Editor at British Opinions
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