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KBP: Correct term is ‘misinformation,’ not ‘fake news’

/ 05:36 PM February 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — “There can be no fake news because news is always correct and true.”

Atty. Rudolph Jularbal, General Counsel of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), said this on Wednesday as the House of Representatives tackled bills that seek to address the prevalence of fake news.

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During the hearing conducted by the House committee on public information, Jularbal said the more appropriate term to use instead of “fake news” is misinformation.

“Ginagamit na yung term na fake news to describe misinformation manipulated information and the like. Mas tama misinformation than fake news,” Jularbal said.

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This was backed by Rowena Paraan, head of the “Bayan Mo, Ipatrol” project of media giant ABS-CBN, who further differentiated “misinformation” from “disinformation.”

“It’s actually oxymoronic. It’s like saying ‘matabang payat’ because supposedly news is factual so to put the descriptive word fake is oxymoronic,” Paraan said.

“Misinformation, pwede kang nag-share ng isang fake news pero hindi mo alam (you can unconsciously share fake news) while disinformation is the deliberate creation and dissemination of false content, with the intent to deceive or manipulate public opinion,” Paraan explained.

Paraan said another possible solution to fight fake news is media literacy by teaching people how to verify the information.

‘Fake news’ has always been prevalent

Jularbal said that misinformation has always been prevalent.

The difference today, however, is the ease of access to information.

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“Maraming chismoso at chismosa noong araw which is misinformation and fake news (There are a lot of rumormongering individuals before which is also considered misinformation and fake news),” Jalarbal said.

“Maraming politiko na nagbibigay ng propaganda, kaya lang nagagamit lang nila ay radyo. Ngayon mayroon na silang pwedeng sariling plataporma which is internet protocol-based platforms (A lot of politicians also release propaganda, but back then they can only use radio. Now, they can use their own platform which is internet protocol-based platforms),” he added.

Jularbal also said that there more “fake news” released by “unknown” entities that cannot be traced rather than from legitimate media firms that have rules in policies when it comes to releasing information.

“In fact, our code of ethics precisely prohibits us from these actions and precisely makes it unethical in our part to disseminate fake news,” Jularbal said.

Ability to detect misinformation

Despite the prevalence of misinformation, Jularbal said today’s generation has means to be able to distinguish fake from legitimate stories online.

“Natututo na rin yung mga gumagamit ng teknolohiya na pag-access ng information. May mga tools na rin sila na alam para makapag-distinguish o makapag-guide sa kanila to determine the correctness and truthfulness of information,” Jalarbal said.

(Those who use technology to access information have learned. There are tools that can be used as a guide to determine the correctness and truthfulness of the information.)

Further, Jularbal said social media platforms also create algorithms to distinguish between fake and false news.

Currently, there are at least three bills pending in the lower chamber that seeks to address the prevalence of “fake news.”

Edited by MUF
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