#Halalan2016: How ABS-CBN News joined hands with Facebook

ABS-CBN News

ABS-CBN officials led by CEO Carlo L. Katigbak and Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes with Facebook's Katie Harbath and Elizabeth Hernandez during ABS-CBN's Halalan 2016 election coverage.

MANILA - Facebook executives on Monday visited multimedia giant ABS-CBN to see the culmination of months of working together where Facebook provided live social media updates for Halalan 2016, the ABS-CBN News' marathon coverage for the 2016 national elections.

The officials from the leading social media site appeared in a series of interviews to promote its latest efforts to make people more involved in the elections through using Facebook.

In an interview with Karen Davila on ANC’s “Headstart,” Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global politics and government outreach director, said, “We want to give more people a voice in the civic process and we think that we’re able to do that by giving them better access to the candidates, better access to other people to discuss these issues.”

Harbath described how engaged Filipinos are in election-related conversations on social media. “We’ve had a very engaged population. It is so exciting how much the electorate is so passionate and wanting to talk about the campaign. A lot of the candidate has a lot of supporters who want to actually get out to vote and they talk about the issues,” she said.

Harbath and Elizabeth Hernandez, Facebook’s head of public policy in the Asia-Pacific, got the chance to see ABS-CBN’s war room, which houses the Social Media Center where live updates on online conversations were shot.

ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo with Facebook's Katie Harbath and Elizabeth Hernandez during ABS-CBN's Halalan 2016 election coverage.

Facebook provided summaries of real-time data culled from issues and candidates being mentioned in conversations on its platform. These included what citizens were talking about on election day, and where the conversations are taking place. The data were aggregated and de-personalized, which means no personal data was revealed.

The partnership is part of ABS-CBN News' objective to ensure Filipinos all over the world are not just informed, but are also heard. For Facebook, working with ABS-CBN is consistent with its core strength of harnessing conversations and bridging people.

ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes said working with Facebook is in recognition of the fact that Filipinos have become even more active and involved in the elections through the help of social media.

“It's important to highlight the conversations online, which represent the views of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos. Incorporating social media listening in our coverage is our way of showing that we value the voice of the people, especially at this critical time in our country's history,” Reyes said.

Ken Teh, APAC media partnerships from Facebook, said, "Facebook is the destination for authentic conversation about politics at scale. With over 229 million Facebook interactions on the Philippines elections by more than 20.8 million people, the Philippines has been one of the most engaged elections globally on Facebook. Our collaboration with ABS-CBN News has helped viewers engage in the elections conversation and give more voice to more people.”

Facebook also expressed its optimism about the platform.

“We think this is just the beginning. We know this is kind of a turning point – the first time that social media in particular Facebook played a key role in the elections,” said Hernandez.

ABS-CBN first featured Facebook data during its vice-presidential debates April 17, and a week later during the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-sanctioned debate mounted by ABS-CBN and its partners.

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