MANILA - Presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said it is time that social media platforms take responsibility for whatever information is spread through them in relation to next year's polls, after Google announced it would not accept political ads for the 2022 elections.
Google Philippines this week said it would pause getting political advertisements during the campaign and silence periods to "help people access useful and accurate information."
Official campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senators and party-lists will be from Feb. 8 to May 7, 2022 as set by the Commission on Elections.
"Very good! Para talagang… Kasi yung trolls naga-abound eh. It’s about time na magkaroon ng responsibilidad talaga, lalo ‘yung mga trolls kasi ito ‘yung naninira," Lacson told reporters.
(The trolls abound. It's about time that social media be responsible especially after we saw how trolls can destroy people.)
"Parang, ano e, wala nang habas na dahil magpapakalat ng fake news. Mabuti na rin na ‘yung mga social media platforms ay nagiging responsible na enough para ma-regulate yung paggamit ng social media," the lawmaker added.
(It seemed that the spread of fake news had been uncontrollable. It is good that social media platforms are becoming responsible enough to regulate social media use.)
He pointed out that social media platforms have aided in "conditioning" individuals for their decision, fueled by what he called as fake news.
Lacson and his running mate, vice presidential aspirant and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said they are looking at how Australia is making social media platforms responsible.
“I think the Australian proposal is reveal the source if it comes from social media. Ganoon ‘yan eh. So, hindi pa rin talaga ‘yung mainstream media ‘yung source mo," Sotto said.
(The mainstream media is not only your source.)
"Pero kung ang source mo ay galing lang ng Facebook... and then, ‘yun nga, hinihingi na i-reveal mo ‘yung source mo, you will be forced. Facebook is the one that will be forced—ganoon yata ang sa Australia. Facebook is forced to reveal kung sino ‘yung pinanggalingan," he added.
(In Australia, if your information came from Facebook, you will be forced to reveal the source. Facebook will be forced to reveal where the information came from.)
"Parang ganoon ‘yung intindi ko (I think that is how I understood it) but we have not seen the bill or the law that they have already passed."
Potential candidates have started advertising on Facebook more than a year before the May 2022 elections, spending several thousand to a few million pesos since August 2020, data analyzed by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism showed.
A recent study, meanwhile, showed that college students— those who make up a significant voting bloc in the 2022 polls— were found to be struggling to spot fake news amid well-oiled misinformation campaigns on social media.
Boses Pilipinas said possible reasons for respondents' poor scores in the fake news quiz include political polarization; higher trust in Facebook; lower trust in mainstream media; and partisanship.