PhilTraComm exec suggests creation of News Literacy Project to combat ‘fake news,’ fraud

PhilTraComm exec suggests creation of News Literacy Project to combat ‘fake news,’ fraud

MANILA — Amid the proliferation of assorted social media platforms on the world wide web, factoring factual news in has become increasingly difficult to differentiate fact from fiction nowadays.

Truly, the media landscape of heretofore trusted, accountable mainstream media outlets has given way to comparative chaos, no thanks to the advent of the internet where almost everyone on the planet has this or that account on social media like Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and the like.

You name it, you have it. As such, determining factual news from “fake news” became as burdensome as deciphering “proof of malice,” the main ingredient in filing a libel case.

Although legislation already racked up laws that armed to the teeth cyberwarriors, policing the internet remains a gargantuan task fighting against fraud and fraudulent transactions online along with curtailing the proliferation of fake news which is about to rear its ugly head anew as the BSKE (Barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan elections) are just around the corner.

What to do?

Philippine Transport and Communications Monitor (PhilTraComm) president Aio Bautista offered simple solutions but he said, it is imperative for the public first to accept the fact that fake news is not a new phenomenon, magnified only in previous years owing to easy and open internet access for every Juan and Juana.

In fact, nowadays, a P50 data load from telcos can give one a free cyber swim for three straight days; strike anywhere as long as a signal is available, strike anybody, and post anything be it true or false almost at random.

“Truly, internet-based media has allowed unprecedented access to information, but it has also led to unprecedented access to misinformation. According to our recent study, an average user sees fake news at least six (6) times per week,” Bautista said.

“And, mind you, the fake news or misinformation they come across has the potential of shaping our views, causing harm that in some cases may prove irreparable,” Bautista added.

The PhilTraComm official explained that concerned agencies in the government must feel the urgency to combating this with a news literacy drive or campaign soonest.

“The objective of this is to arm the public, the media consumers for them to be more literate than ever before in the years to come,” Bautista said.

“A formal News Literacy Project if we may call it that way is one good step towards that goal,” Bautista explained.

“In fact, there are existing organizations dedicated to helping media consumers spot telltale signs of fake news. They provide lessons, real-world examples, and other resources to help consumers navigate the ever-evolving, and increasingly-perilous, media ecosystem,” ended Bautista. “Let’s train ourselves to think critically.”

(Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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