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Robredo supporters in California to YouTube: stop spread of 'fake news'

Rommel Conclara | TFC News San Bruno, California

Posted at Mar 15 2022 06:04 PM

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Filipino Americans in support of Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo's 2022 presidential bid recently held a protest in front of the YouTube headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

They called on the online video-sharing and social media platform owned by Google to stop the spread of misinformation, allegedly perpetrated by supporters of Robredo’s political rival Bongbong Marcos. They accused YouTube of allowing the upload of multiple videos filled with misinformation. They said Robredo is the 'biggest victim' of 'fake news' while Marcos benefits from positive yet misleading social media posts.

"This was the message of the propaganda minister under Adolf Hitler who said that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes truth and this is what we see is happening," Edwin Batongbacal of Akbayan said.

The Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA) sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, asking to suspend pro-Marcos accounts that spread misinformation. They also want YouTube to bolster fact-checking and content moderating, and put a stop to selling ads for purveyors of 'fake news.'

"We want all the social media to be very proactive again by changing their algorithm. Community standards should be met. When trolls are paid, and we know they are paid by the pro-Marcos, companies like Google should be proactive in identifying these paid trolls. This is the only way that we can stop all these lies on YouTube," Donny Deleon of FAHRA pointed out.

Activists said they will hold similar protests at other tech headquarters in the Bay Area to ensure that their demands are heard.

For its part, YouTube recently held a virtual briefing with Philippine media, announcing that it is intensifying efforts to boost the distribution of credible content while removing misinformation ahead of the May 9 Philippine presidential polls.

YouTube added that it will have features that can help steer users toward credible content and vetted information.