MANILA - The public must be more cautious of "fake news" and clickbait headlines on social media as the Senate continues its investigation into the alleged mismanagement of pandemic funds, Senator Richard Gordon said Sunday.
The senator said fact-checking news organizations Agence France-Presse and Verafiles have flagged "pro-administration social media accounts which claimed he "folded and apologized to the President."
These social media pages include Trending Viral TH2, PH Breaking News, Inday Sara Para sa Masa, Unofficial Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa Solid Supporters, and Eagle eyes of the Philippines citizen-report, according to Gordon.
“Let’s be more cautious against fake news and clickbait headlines populating our social media pages, most of them are patently false or rehashed issues thrown at us. Trust only those news stories from reputable mainstream media,” he said.
“Some unscrupulous people and groups are really out to discredit and demolish us. These kinds of online stories will continue to bombard us as election campaign will be highly partisan and will rely heavily on social media for information,” he added.
Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said he was "seriously investigating the barrage of disinformation."
“This includes clickbait headlines that deliberately and unscrupulously poison our minds with misleading and inaccurate information in order to muddle and deflect our attention from the corruption issues under this administration,” he said.
The senator said he expects the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to "take more decisive actions to shut down" social media accounts spreading disinformation.
State auditors earlier flagged the PCOO's hiring of 375 contract of service (COS) personnel in 2020.
Gordon has been vocal in criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte allegedly for defending individuals being investigated by the Blue Ribbon Committee over the purchase of supplies from private firm Pharmally to combat COVID-19.
Duterte said the transactions with Pharmally are above board.