6 in 10 of Pinoy youth engage in politics on social media: survey

Sherwin Tinampay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2021 03:21 PM

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MANILA - More than half of Filipino youth engage in politics on social media, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, a youth advocate group said, citing a survey they conducted in partnership with the Social Weather Stations. (SWS). 

As many as 60 percent like or share political posts, 54 percent intentionally look for political issues, while 49 percent use what they saw online to discuss it with other people, said Atty. Mildred Ople of YouthLedPH citing the survey. 

Ople shared with FYE channel's 'Boto Mo Karerin Natin 'Yan' show on Kumu last week the results of their 'National Youth Survey' in partnership with the SWS conducted last March.
Meanwhile, 33 percent of Filipino youth follow a politician, political commentator or any politics-related social media account, and 27 percent post their own comments/thoughts about certain political issues.

Portion of YouthLedPH's National Youth Survey 2021
Portion of YouthLedPH's National Youth Survey 2021

The survey was conducted among 4,900 young people in 17 regions and 32 key cities nationwide with error margins +/- 1.4% for national percentages.

"Out of all the social media platforms, si Facebook talaga 'yung number one na ginagamit ng mga kabataan na ito. Ninety-seven percent of them have social media accounts," Ople said.

(Out of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the number one social media used by the youth, with 97% of them having social media accounts.)

Portion of YouthLedPH's National Youth Survey 2021
Portion of YouthLedPH's National Youth Survey 2021

"May implication 'yung nababasa nila online doon sa kanilang mga offline conversations kasi nga hindi naman lahat may access sa internet but those who have access tend to discuss or tend to refer or base their conversation on what they read online," Ople said.

(There are implications on the things they see and read online to their offline conversations because not all Filipinos have access to the internet. Those who have online access tend to discuss or tend to refer or base their conversation on what they read online.)

Because of Facebook's popularity, many say that the social networking site will play a major role in the upcoming Halalan 2022.

The limitations brought by the COVID-19 pandemic forced politicians to venture in digital campaigning particularly on social media.

But there have been fears that social media, primarily Facebook, may become an avenue for misinformation, disinformation, fake news and even historical revisionism, knowing many people spend their time online.

Ople said that people should balance the use of social media and be knowledgeable and conscious of what is right and wrong.

"Lagi nating sinasabi na i-verify muna or i-validate muna bago mag-share ng mga information online," she said.

(We always say to verify, to validate before sharing information online.)

"In terms of engaging naman online, hindi dapat lahat pinapatulan," she said. 

(In terms of online engagement, we should not respond to everyone.)

She also shared a "T.H.I.N.K." framework in handling information. 

"One is T, totoo ba 'yun? True ba 'yung sinabi niya na 'yan? H, helpful ba kung sasagot ako sa kaniyang kinoment o pinost online? I, makaka-inspire ba ng ibang tao para mamulat sila sa katotohanan or hindi sila ma-mislead doon sa naka-post or sa comment na 'yun. N, needed ba? May magbe-benefit ba na ibang tao kapag sinagot ko 'yung post na 'yun and letter K magiging mabait ba ako? Ngayon kasi lahat napaka-toxic," she said. 

(One is T, is it true? H, is it helpful if we respond to his/her comment or post online? I, will I inspire other people for them to be reminded of reality or for them not to be mislead on that certain post or comment? N, is it needed? Will people benefit if I respond to that certain post, and K, will I be kind to them because now I see everybody is toxic online.)

Ople also reminded people to protect and be mindful of their digital footprint. 

"Maging maingat because anything you post online pati 'yung comment mo, ano 'yung shinare mo, it will also reflect on your personality," she said.

(Be cautious on anything you post, comment and share online because it will also reflect on your personality.)

Despite people's exposure on social media, Ople advised people to remain authentic and decent online or offline.

"Nakakalimutan natin na citizen rin tayo offline. Parang nawawala 'yung ganoong pagtingin. Akala natin iba 'yung digital citizenship natin doon sa pagiging responsible citizen natin outside of social media," she said.

(We forget that we are citizens offline. Some would say digital citizenship is different on being a responsible citizen outside of social media.)