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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Despite Sendong, we at Blog Watch wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Christmastime for most Filipinos is one of the happiest times of the year. People look forward to parties, family reunions, exchange gifts, and everyone feels the festive mood all around. In a few days it would be Christmas, but some people may not be feeling the Christmas spirit for various reasons, including the loneliness of not being with their families, particularly for OFWs. Putting up Christmas decorations may have felt like a chore, and waking up early to attend the “Simbang Gabi” has become more difficult each coming day.

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BlogWatch gets media accreditation for inauguration

In a historic and unprecedented move, BlogWatch requested for and has been accredited by the Inauguration Accreditation Committee overseeing all the logistics for the inauguration on June 30 of President-Elect Benigno Simeon Aquino III and VP-elect Jejomar Binay.

Eight bloggers that included three production members were duly accredited by the Inauguration Committee. Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (Project Editor), Dine Racoma, Sonnie Santos, Brian Ong, and this writer were accredited as bloggers-writers while the production members accredited were Anton Sheker (blogger/photographer), Pocholo Gonzales (blogger for video coverage) and Peter Baltazar (videographer assistant).

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BlogWatch — Behind the Scenes

All you have seen of BlogWatch so far have been articles written by its blogger-writers on a vast range of topics on the different candidates, as well as various interviews or fora. Not much is known about what Blog Watch is really all about – ordinary citizens, who just happen to be bloggers, using technology within our means, to bring voter education to netizens (citizens on the net).

Tools of the trade

Let me take you behind the scenes and give you a flavor of what BlogWatch is all about.

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