CBCP head calls for ‘proactive’ fight against disinformation ahead of May polls

CBCP head calls for ‘proactive’ fight   against disinformation ahead of May polls

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, speaks at the online launch of #FactsFirstPH, an initiative that seeks to promote truth in the public space, and exacting accountability from those who harm it with lies. COURTESY OF #FACTSFIRSTPH

By CBCP News

January 26, 2022

Manila, Philippines

A top Catholic official in Manila has called on the public to do more to combat disinformation ahead of the election.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president, said that addressing falsehood is an “urgent concern” heading to the presidential election in May.

The bishop was speaking Wednesday at the launching of #FactsFirstPH, an initiative that seeks to promote truth and fight disinformation especially in social media.

“I hope and pray that more individuals and organizations will join in this proactive fight against the use of social media for disinformation,” David said in a recorded message.

#FactsFirstPH brings together various sectors to promote truth in the public spaces, and exacting accountability from those who spread lies.

It also aims to provide crucial information to voters and restore the integrity of the elections.

The initiative is composed of more than 100 organizations from the media, civil society, business, academe, legal, and the Church.

In the fight for truth, Bishop David assured that “you can count on us as your allies”.

“I am confident that our banding together will be a big boost to the objective of supporting the work of fact-check groups by amplifying the fact-check pieces that they produce,” he added.

This multisectorial campaign is in partnership with technology group Meedan, Google News Initiative, and Rappler.

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