Gov't to launch nationwide campaign vs fake news

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 12) — The national government will implement a media literacy campaign this year to combat misinformation and disinformation in the digital landscape, a Malacañang official said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Undersecretary Cherbett Karen Maralit said the campaign aims to equip the “most vulnerable communities” with the knowledge and resources they need “to be discerning of the truth as they engage in various social media channels and platforms.”

The PCO official explained that the drive would take a “context-based and factual grassroots approach,” involving active collaboration by the PCO and the private sector, particularly those in the broadcast industry.

“We will work to improve the citizenry’s ability to think critically and analyze information. The first step towards this end is identifying reliable and credible sources of information,” Maralit said, noting that the PCO “wish[es] to achieve this goal with both sensitivity, balance and respect for constitutional rights.”

Maralit made the announcement during a side event on safe online spaces for women at the 67th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) at the UN headquarters in New York, according to a PCO statement.

“Backed by the budgetary support from the Philippine Congress and its confidence in the leadership of the PCO, we took the opportunity to develop mechanisms through which we can bring the online experiences of females of all ages into focus,” she said.

Maralit further said that a “thorough” study will be carried out this month to pinpoint the communities in the country where media literacy is needed most; identify the social media platforms through which these communities are most vulnerable to fake news; and identify the topic that misinformation and disinformation primarily cover.

She said that after the study's findings are compiled, the government is anticipated to launch the nationwide campaign and hold a media literacy summit by the end of the year.