Mad about fake news

“MAD released a statement in support of Nobel laureates Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov’s 10- point plan to address the information crisis in the country.”

In the latest Pulse Asia Survey, conducted September 17 to 21, 90 percent of Filipinos are exposed to fake political news while 86 percent believe false or fake news is a problem in the country.

The survey also showed that 26 percent of the respondents have read, heard, and/or watched false news about government and politics a few times a week, 25 percent experienced the same a few times a month, and 21 percent at least once a day.

The survey further showed that those who have read, heard, and/or watched fake political news once a week reached 17 percent, while 10 percent of Filipino adults are not aware of untrue news regarding government and politics; at least 58 percent of the respondents said social media influencers, bloggers, and/or vloggers are top peddlers of fake news about government and politics, followed by journalists at 40 percent, and national level politicians at 37 percent.

Local politicians ranked fourth among alleged sources of false information about government and politics at 30 percent, followed by civic leaders/NGO leaders at 15 percent, businessmen at 11 percent, and academics, professors, or teachers at 4 percent.

The remaining 1 percent went to friends/acquaintances at .4 percent, neighborhood/ordinary citizens at .3 percent, and New People’s Army at .1 percent.

Those who don’t know the sources of false information accounted for 2 percent.

The survey respondents also identified either social media or the internet (68 percent) or television (67 percent) as their source of fake news about government and politics.

What is encouraging, however, is that at least 55 percent of the respondents expressed confidence in the ability of Filipinos to ascertain the truthfulness of political news they hear, read, and/or watch compared to 37 percent saying they cannot say if their fellowmen can spot fake news, and only 7 percent lacks confidence in the ability of other people to determine the truth in what they hear or watch.

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews based on a sample of 1,200 respondents 18 years old and above, with a ± 2.8 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

As a result of related developments, particularly the proliferation of fake news in connection with the killing of popular radio commentator, Percy Mabasa, the Movement Against Disinformation (MAD) released a series of statements to condemn, not only the murder of Mabasa, but also fake news attacking journalists, online and offline.

In a statement of support to TV 5 journalists Ed Lingao and Lourd de Veyra, MAD said:

“On October 4, 2022, an individual named ‘Seth Corteza ng Metrosun’ under the Twitter username, @PinggoyB, claimed that the TV5’s broadcasters, Mr. Ed Lingao and Mr. Lourd De Veyra are allegedly two of the persons who are next who would be put down under a ‘kill contract.’ This tweet was posted barely a day after the brutal murder of Percival ‘Percy Lapid’ Mabasa.”

MAD pointed out it is noteworthy that Mr. Mabasa is the second journalist under the current administration, which spans just a little over a hundred days, to be killed as Negros Oriental radioman, Rey Blanco, was stabbed to death just this September 18, 2022.

It said: “This definitely adds salt to the wounds of our local journalists (who) are already enduring presently as earlier this year, specifically on May 2022, the Philippines already slipped nine spots to 147th out of 180 countries in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.”

Truth be told, according to MAD, the news on the attacks, both online and offline, to our journalists has been normalized in the Philippines.

But this must not be the case in a democratic country.

MAD urges the government to take every single threat to our journalists seriously. Investigations should immediately take place and measures taken to assure our journalists’ safety during the process.

And yes, the Philippine government should ensure accountability against people who are intimidating the freedom of speech and press.

In a separate statement, MAD also called out the Sonshine Media Network International and the presenters of “Laban Kasama Ang Bayan” for using, abusing, and misusing SMNI’s legislative franchise thru blatant red tagging and attacking the person of Maria Ressa and Rappler.

Additionally, MAD released a statement in support of Nobel laureates Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov 10-point plan to address the information crisis in the country.

In its statement, MAD commits to carrying out the herculean task of localizing and implementing this plan in the Philippines.

This is a very important job and an urgent call to action not only to bureaucratic institutions and established organizations but to each one who believes in democracy and resists against fascism.

As founding President of MAD, I am proud of how our new organization is fighting fake news.

Our founding Chair, Atty Rico Domingo, has guided us to be consistent in being non-partisan.

Legal luminaries like Dean Sol Mawis, former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and former Comelec Chair Christian Monsod, experienced, and young lawyers and advocates are active in working with us.

A youth chapter and Mindanao chapter of MAD are also being organized.

We will not stop until this scourge of disinformation is stopped, at the very least the harm it causes is minimized.

Visit this link to access the article.

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