By Raymund Antonio
Efforts to fight the proliferation of fake news and false information online are gaining headway, Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo claimed.
Robredo, who repeatedly fell victim to online gossip and misinformation, made the observation as she disclosed that the spread of fake news has tapered off.
“Kung siguro nagamit sa napakasamang paraan iyong social media nitong mga nakaraang taon at buwan, parang nakakarecover nang kaunti ngayon,” she said in her weekly radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni.”
But despite the campaign, the Vice President indicated that fake news spreaders and purveyors of lies are still out on social media platforms.
“Nandiyan pa din, mayroon pa din masasamang isip na gusto pa ring manloko,” the 52-year-old Robredo said.
She attributed the decline of fake news stories to the collective action of citizens to counter such practice.
“Karamihan nagtutulungan na para maayos ito,” Robredo, a former housing chief, noted.
The Vice President underscored the need to support the campaign against the proliferation of fake news so it is not propagated and accepted as gospel truth.
“Kala namin dahil hindi siya totoo, huwag na lang pansinin. Pero ang nakakalungkot dito, kapag pinapaulit-ulit, para iyong totoo, pinapaniwalaan na ng iba,” she said.
“Kaya kailangan din na sinusubukan na i-correct kasi iyon nga, kapag hindi ka umimik, ayaw mong patulan, paminsan may mga naniniwala talaga,” Robredo added.
The country has witnessed the rise of unverified posts on social media so much so that even a top government official like her has fallen for the bait of fake news as well.
Previously, there was a rumor that Robredo was conniving with philanthropist Loida Lewis and other members of the Filipino-American community to plot President Rodrigo Duterte’s ouster.
The rumor was based on exchanges through the public Yahoo! Group of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council.
There were even claims that the Vice President was pregnant and she had an abortion abroad.
Robredo dismissed all of these as false information that spread on social media.
The Vice President earlier emphasized that bloggers who put out information must have a sense of accountability, like how traditional media is supposed to adhere to journalism ethics.
She called out “irresponsible” bloggers for abusing the freedom of speech, using it as a license to spread lies and misinformation online.
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