Viber says to fight 'fake news' as Halalan 2022 heats up

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2022 03:04 PM

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MANILA - Messaging app Viber said it intends to keep “fake news” out of its platform as the Philippines gets ready to hold national elections this year. 

Viber, which cut ties with Facebook in 2020 over its “data violations and failure to combat violent rhetoric", said it “is supporting the Filipinos’ right to vote by partnering with legitimate sources of information to help combat misinformation.”
 
“The team is working hard to make sure that Viber doesn’t become a platform where fake news or misleading information is possible,” said 
David Tse, Rakuten Viber Senior Director for Asia and the Pacific. 

“In terms of public content which you often see in our Communities, we are starting to increase moderation and resources in the country to ensure that we pick up information that is inappropriate and remove these in a timely manner,” Tse said in a statement. 

A report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism showed that several presidential aspirants have ramped up their ad spending on Facebook, while another aspirant used the platform to spread political memes.

In December last year, Google Philippines said it would not accept election ads during the 2022 campaign period.

Viber meanwhile said its messaging app posted a 57 percent growth in calls in 2021, with 31 percent increase in the use of messages. Group chats also grew 17 percent while group chat messages saw a growth of 19 percent. 
 
The company also noted that over half of its users in the Philippines are part of the younger demographic with 40 percent belonging to the 25-34 age group, followed by the 35-50 at 30 percent. 

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