AB Dean urges tech firms to help fight ‘fake news’ during the election period

screengrabbed from the e-Leksiyon: Taming Tech Titans forum

TECHNOLOGY FIRMS like social media giant Facebook should conduct more fact-checking to prevent the spread of “fake news,” especially during the campaign period, Faculty of Arts and Letters Dean Marilu Madrunio said. 

Citing a New York Times column, Madrunio said technology giants play a vital role in the upcoming elections because of their direct influence on voter behavior and preferences.

“Little to no checking allows unscrupulous parties to spread disinformation or fake news through the facilities of these companies,” she said during the e-Leksiyon: Taming Tech Titans forum held last Wednesday. 

Madrunio said adapting to new technologies, such as the electronic voting (e-voting) system, could increase voter participation during elections. The system, the dean noted, could be a way to encourage more Filipinos to vote, especially during the pandemic where mass gatherings are restricted.

“We can only hope that amidst the pandemic, e-voting can be used in casting our votes and even counting them. Certainly, this mode of election is new to us, but it can increase the participation of many citizens, especially those who work abroad and those who have physical disabilities,” she said.

Madrunio acknowledged that the technology could pose risks and could compromise the conduct of elections, especially when voters do not have enough experience using it. 

“So it is always best to invest in institutional proactive interventions to be able to keep pace with the advantages of technology changes,” she said.

The event was the eighth webinar under the National Forum on Communication and Democracy: Philippine Elections 2022 series organized by the Philippines Communication Society in cooperation with the University of the Philippines’ internet television network TVUP. F  Catherine Dabu

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