Action against trolls and disinformation

16. February 2022 | Disinformation, Human Rights News

The Digital Public Pulse (DPP) project examined election-related online activities between May and October 2021. Facebook pages, accounts, and groups related to the Marcos and Duterte families form a “supercluster,” according to DPP. In this, the overlapping behavior of users often served to attack other presidential candidates., a collaborative fact-checking initiative established for the 2019 elections, says presidential candidate Leni Robredo is one of the main targets of disinformation on social media. Journalism professor and coordinator Yvonne Chua adds, “There is a preponderance of negative messages against Leni and positive ones for Marcos… We see a substantial and significant volume of false or misleading claims about presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in which case, these are largely positive or in his favor seeking to promote him.”

With the hashtag #FactsFirstPH, another campaign to fact-check and to correct Fake News began on January 26, 2022. More than one hundred groups from different sectors (such as media, research, business, civil society, judiciary, and church) joined forces to combat disinformation on social media by creating and distributing posts that provide truthful information. Part of the initiative are, for example, the news media Rappler and ABS-CBN, or the human rights organization Karapatan.

On February 3, 2022, the Philippine Senate announced the passage of the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act. The so-called “antitroll” bill requires users to register their SIM cards with their official identity at the respective telecommunication company. In addition, information on identity and cell phone number will become mandatory when registration on social media. The law aims to improve the tracing of trolls and other illegal online activities, especially in view of the upcoming elections.

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