Pangilinan to socmed, online shopping giants: Lead way against disinformation pandemic

January 11, 2022

SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan challenges social media platforms and online shopping sites to lead the way in combating disinformation and fake news, which have become even more dangerous in a time of a health crisis.

As the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes, headed by Pangilinan, resumes its hearing on Wednesday (January 12), the senator said he expects an honest-to-goodness discussion, especially after several guests have confirmed attendance including Lazada.

The Senate panel seeks to conduct a review of Philippine criminal laws related to the rise of social media platforms and the rapid advancement of technology.

“Against the backdrop of an upcoming election and the continuing pandemic, an avalanche of false information can flow freely or spread like wildfire with the aid of digital platforms,” Pangilinan said.

“Although disinformation cannot be stopped in one sweep, it can be countered and managed one click at a time, with all sectors working together,” he added.

The senator stressed that false information runs the gamut — from questioning Covid-19 vaccines to covering up a candidate’s shady records to discrediting individuals with fake news.

“These falsehoods on social media create a breeding ground for uncertainty, which in turn fuels skepticism and distrust, and eventually, chaos and violence,” Pangilinan said.

He said he is counting on social media platforms, advertisers, online shopping sites, media and concerned sectors to be allies in ensuring that truthful, helpful and life-saving information gain wider prominence online.

He said there should also be continuous online education so netizens will recognize and report misinformation.

“Social media sites should go beyond the clickbait and go for trustworthiness and accuracy. This way, we can turn the tide on disinformation and fake news,” Pangilinan said.