Noemi Lardizabal-Dado and Jane T. Uymatiao

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 11 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and online media publishing and over 21 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good. She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of BlogWatch. She is a resource speaker on social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety. Her personal blogs such as aboutmyrecovery.com (parenting), pinoyfoodblog.com (recipes), techiegadgets.com (gadgets) and beautyoverfifty.net (lifestyle) keep her busy outside of BlogWatch. Jane T. Uymatiao is known as @citizenjaneph. She spent more than 15 years as an IT auditor/consultant at an accounting firm and another 2.5 years as VP-Head of a bank's Corporate Planning Division. She has been blogging for about 12 years now and is one of the early adopters of social media. She believes in active citizen engagement pushing for transparency and good governance and is regularly tapped to speak on social media, digital citizenship and parenting in the digital age. Jane is a co-founder of BlogWatch and is a member of its Editorial Board. Her personal blogs are: yoga and wellness (yoginifrommanila.com), tech (titatechie.com), lifestyle (philippinebeat.com), and personal (janeuymatiao.com)

A call for more truth tellers — a workshop on blogging and social media as weapons of truth

The time for truth is always now. In this age of disinformation and viral deception, we need more bloggers to share the truth. Fact checkers are needed but it is not enough. More than fact-checking, we need more truth tellers. 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.

Read: 7 types of mis- and disinformation

Nothing is more relevant than using social media for good and maximizing personal and collective social media capital for social change. As social media was adopted by more and more people, and as access to the internet became more available and less expensive, the expected normal direction was towards using it for social good. However, we found that by 2012, the ugly side of blogging and social media began rearing its head.

As BlogWatch celebrates its 9th anniversary, we continue to write articles of national interest and those that educate the users of social media platforms on its judicious use while inculcating a culture of critical thinking and respect for truth and reason.

BlogWatch joined the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation, a network of journalists, academics, bloggers, and other independents, supported by the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle Philippines, and the University of the Philippines. One of the activities of the consortium is holding a conference series on “Democracy and Disinformation” in various schools in the Philippines. We joined the Angeles City, Pampanga leg last October 19-20, 2018 with Holy Angel University as the host and seven other schools in Pampanga participating as well (University of the Assumption, Holy Cross College, Our Lady of Fatima University, Pampanga State Agricultural University, Saint Mary’s Angels College of Pampanga, Systems Plus College Foundation, and SapangBato National High School).

Day Two of the conference was dedicated to workshops, with BlogWatch conducting a workshop on “Blogging (and Social Media) as Weapons of Truth and Disinformation” while Rappler held a separate workshop on Fact Checking. We shared eight tips to responsible blogging in order to be credible truth tellers: Create, Crowdsource , Curate , Call to action, Check, Correct, Collaborate and Courtesy.

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BlogWatch: A microcosm of the evolution of citizen engagement in the Philippines

On Nov. 24, 2009, a small group of bloggers launched what they thought would be a 6-month foray into voters education. Looking ahead to the 2010 elections, they just wanted to do their share for the country by using their respective online networks to spread information that would be helpful for voters. Little did they know that what they began that day would be a spark that would join the growing flame today that is now referred to as CITIZEN ADVOCACY.

(SEE ALSO: Disclaimer)

BlogWatch was conceived, and the focus was inspired, from a PCIJ training– underplayed stories, commentaries, platforms, issues, campaign finance, automated elections, and voters education. Here is BlogWatch’s story as told by two of its co-founders, Noemi Lardizabal-Dado and Jane Uymatiao.

Some of the initial BlogWatch people at the Nov. 24, 2009 press conference
Photo courtesy of the Philippine Online Chronicles

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