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How online platforms are preparing us for PH elections

MOST voters are active in at least one of the four major social media networks. Removing accounts with coordinated inauthentic behavior or putting reporting mechanisms in place by these companies may not be enough to limit the spread of misinformation. Aside from official announcements from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), credible information is available on these platforms. But are voters searching for it? Meta, the company behind Facebook, wants to help keep people safe during the upcoming election by activating an Elections Operations Center. It could detect and respond quickly to any potential abuse of its services related to the election. Twitter is committed to facilitating meaningful political debate, driving civic participation, and protecting the integrity of the election conversation from interference and manipulation. As Election Day approaches, many voters will turn to YouTube to follow the latest election news, and learn more about candidates and the voting process. To connect people to authoritative election-related information, YouTube presents an assortment of Election Information Panels. Providing access to authoritative election information ahead of the election day is TikTok’s commitment. Here are the features activated in these platforms:

Google

When YouTube viewers search for the names of President and Vice President candidates, a relevant candidate information panel will pop up at the top of their search results. This panel highlights information on the candidates, such as their political party and what office they’re running for. Information about candidates and parties is sourced from vetted, non-partisan, third-party sources. To help people learn more about the voting process, an information panel also surfaces on YouTube for all searches pertaining to “how to vote.” These panels will link to the Comelec website featuring relevant materials, requirements and the step by step of the voting process.

Twitter

Online search prompts are available to facilitate access to authoritative sources of information on voting in both Filipino and English languages. The search prompt is a notification service that connects people to credible information about the elections. When searching for keywords associated with the Philippine General Election such as “NLE 2022,” “Vote Philippines” and “General Election”; the search result will show a notification at the top, directing people to the latest election information from Comelec (https://comelec.gov.ph/ ) or VoteSAFEPilipinas (https://www.votesafe.ph/). Voters can subscribe via @TwitterPH to receive the latest and most accurate information from Comelec. In partnership with Plan International Philippines, coordinator of #HIJAlalan2022, a Voter Education Quiz is there to educate voters on the girls’ electoral agenda.

Meta

Facebook is supporting the voter education podcast series, “Shading Someone on your Ballot,” in partnership with Podcast Network Asia and Legal Network on Truthful Elections (Lente). The podcast highlights the importance of voting, facts about the electoral process, and equips listeners with voting information resources. In partnership with Comelec and Lente, Be Wais and Teka Moment were launched. Such a campaign reached over 36 million people and reminded them to pause and think critically before sharing information online. They will soon air these videos on national TV and broadcast them on radio in the Philippines.

TikTok

The #RightInformationThisElection partnership with Comelec provides users with easy access to reliable and authoritative election information, including how to vote. A dedicated on-platform election microsite has been added under election-related videos. Another partnership is the #eLeksyonSerye with GMA News and Public Affairs. This campaign joins 50 other partners in the fields of telecommunications, media, education, business, law and public service in the country. All pledged their support to keep a close watch on the electoral process, and help voters make informed decisions on Election Day. The series of informative content leading up to the elections includes an interactive Online E-Leksyon Quiz that helps people determine how well they know their voter rights and responsibilities and the country’s political system.

Get the right information. Voters could easily access these Voter Education initiatives and information panels with just a click away.

First published at Sunday Business & IT, April 24, 2022

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BlogWatch receives the “Best Story” Award for the First Data Journalism PH 2015 from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  for their story on “Aid Monitoring: Citizens’ Initial Efforts in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” . Forbes Philippines also received the same award.

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