Robredo: Disinformation, fake news still biggest challenge to presidential bid
NAGA CITY, Philippines — Disinformation and fake news remain the biggest challenge to the presidential campaign of Vice President Leni Robredo.
She reaffirmed this here on Monday at the sidelines of a program in Barangay Pacol. Robredo is set to launch her official presidential campaign on Tuesday, February 8.
According to her, all the negative things that are being thrown at her stem from misinformation – as facts and details about her statements have been twisted to criticize her or put her in a bad light.
“Disinformation saka fake news,” Robredo said when asked what would be the biggest threat to her candidacy. “Kasi lahat naman na— lahat na ‘yun mga negative na binabato sa akin, lahat ang basihan disinformation eh.”
(Disinformation and fake news. Because all of the negative information thrown against me are based on disinformation.)
“Maraming mga pagkakataon na either tine-twist ang mga facts or ‘yung mga facts ay – ang tinutulak na mga news ay totally baseless. So, because of the power of social media, and ‘yun nga ‘yung lagi kong sinasabi na ‘yung social media kasi works on algorithms, ‘yun talaga ‘yung mahirap dahil alam natin na ang daming fake accounts ngayon,” she added.
(There are many instances that the facts are either twisted or the facts being pushed as news are totally baseless. So because of the power of social media, as I’ve said that social media works on algorithms, it becomes hard because as we know, there are a lot of fake accounts today.)
Robredo said a huge part of the problem with social media misinformation is that it is hard to hold perpetrators accountable – unlike traditional media channels and news sites which may be held liable for libel or other violations should they publish fake content.
“‘Yong pinakamahirap kasi sa social media, hindi siya gaya – gaya ninyo sa media na merong accountabilities na hindi nyo– hindi kayo maglalabas ng anything na hindi na-validate. Sa social media kahit ano puwede ilabas na walang accountability kasi puwede mo nga ilabas kahit fake account ‘yung ginagamit mo,” she said.
(The hardest thing with social media, it is not like you in the mainstream media, who have accountabilities that you cannot release anything that has not been validated. On social media instead, you can release any information without accountability because you can do that while using a fake account.)
“Ito ‘yung mahirap ngayon, na while nire-recognize natin ‘yung power ng social media, nagamit talaga siya sa pag-aabuso. Kaya para sa akin, hindi lang ito pagtulong sa akin pero dapat tayong lahat magtulong-tulong para i-fight ‘yung fake news. Kasi kung ang eleksyon maipapanalo base sa kasinungalingan, kawawa tayo,” she added.
(This is the hard thing today, that while we recognize the power of social media, it can really be used for abuse. That’s why for me, fighting misinformation is not only about me, but also about the fight of everyone else. Because the elections were won just based on lies, we would be in a pitiful state.)
Recently, fact-checker Tsek.ph said Robredo is the biggest victim of negative misinformation, while her opponent in the 2016 vice presidential polls and in the upcoming 2022 national elections, former senator Bongbong Marcos, is the beneficiary of positive but misleading messages in social media.
This has led the Vice President to assert that winning the battle against misinformation would be key to winning in the elections.
But in terms of what may propel her to the presidency, Robredo said that a united Bicol region, voting for her, would be important in what is perceived to be the second round of face-off between her and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who ran for vice president but lost in 2016.
“Actually, sitwasyon ngayon sobrang kakaiba na noong 2016. Kasi noong kumandidato ako noong 2016, ‘yung mga political parties may kanya-kanya talagang mga linyang tinutulak. Pero ngayon, kahit iba-ibang mga partido ay nakuha natin ‘yung suporta,” she explained.
(Actually, the situation now is different from 2016. Because back then, when I was a candidate in 2016, the political parties would push for their own bets. But now, even the different parties have thrown their support for me.)
“And I think ‘yung pinakamahalaga dito, hindi lang na nagsusuporta sa – sila sa akin as a candidate pero naniniwala sila na pag ako binigyan ng pagkakataon, isang malaking opportunity din ito for the Bicol Region. For many, many years, marami kaming mga pangangailangan na hindi, hindi nami-meet,” she added.
(And I think the most important thing is that those who support me are not only doing so for my candidacy, but they think that if I got the chance to be elected as president, this is a big opportunity for the Bicol Region. For many, many years, the area has had a lot of needs that were not met.)
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