This is my presentation for “Fighting election-related disinformation” for Kontra Daya’s People’s Assembly Against Election Fraud held today at St. Thomas Hall, Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila.
Elections are four days away. It is possible that disinformation will go on overdrive until May 13, 2019. I will share some of the latest disinformation tactics . Some are a few weeks old but even if they have been debunked, they can be re-posted again. If you have doubts on a certain ad, post or private message, check the fact checking sites like tsek.ph, Rappler Fact check and Vera Files Fact check or contact us by commenting below.
Here are some disinformation I have been witnessing the past few weeks:
1.Sending disinformation in closed spaces such as messenger, viber, WhatsApp or SMS
Someone is spreading this through messenger. The message is do not vote Lapid because a vote for Lapid is a vote for Mar Roxas because if one shades the oval box beside Lapid, the ink will seep through Roxas. Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez debunked this by saying that the ovals of the front and back page are not aligned.
2. Links in the messenger that might be used for data mining.
This poll was being shared in closed spaces. The Pulso ng Mamamayang Pilipino is a live senatorial poll from Philippine News, one of the Twinmark sites that is DDS-affiliated.
When I warned this on twitter, one replied back to thank me about the warning because he was prompted to add a Chrome extension to see the results.
3.Hijacking the comments in pages or groups
A non-political page like Nostalgia Philippines suddenly has a partisan post.
Noel Palomo, owner and admin of the Siakol facebook page, Siakolites had 610 K followers. He got booted out as admin and is worried that his page will be renamed and used for disinformation. I have contacted Facebook to look into this page.
The admin of an Erasehead group was also booted out. It is important to monitor the posts of the pages or groups you follow. If there is unusual activity, report to Facebook.
5. Videos of pre-shaded ballots
The video of an angry person calling out the pre-shaded ballots is also being shared as of this writing,even if Comelec has debunked this video.
Comelec says they have tested the ballots “but the supposed UV marks were not read by the vote-counting machine (VCM). The VCM actually looks for black ink—the real ink, not invisible…It was obviously a staged video because the ballot that was used did not have the QR (Quick Response) code” . It was also not an official ballot because it did not bear other security marks, he added. No UV marks were placed on any oval on the official ballots and even if there were, they would not be read by the VCM.” It is important to be aware of how a genuine ballot looks like.
What can you do to fight back disinformation?
We need to share more content based on facts. Double the effort to share the truth. Remember, lies travel faster than the truth. When not speaking, you are contributing to the disinformation. By not speaking up, you are allowing the lie to spread.
1. Share your Kodigo list. Share as much as you can.
2. Convince your friends and loved ones that separation and balance of powers is crucial for a democratic government
Relationships are more important than directly correcting someone or insisting on one’s political choice. Choose to preserve relationships. There are indirect ways to show the truth or present one’s perspective. I post links to factual articles on Facebook and other social media platforms, knowing that I have friends and family members (with differing opinions and choices) who can read what I post.
3. Share the truth that ” If there is a body right now that can still check, question, investigate and decide, with some semblance of independence from other branches, IT IS THE SENATE.”
4. Call out the lies, fake news or disinformation by sharing the facts. Continue sharing the truth.
Cite or quote other truth-tellers especially from fact-checking sites tsek.ph, Rappler Fact check and Vera Files Fact check . If you encounter disinformation, please contact us by commenting below or email contact @ blogwatch.tv.
Take action. In your area/s of influence, fight for the truth, your principles and values. Don’t let lies and intimidation take over the public sphere where democracy lives.