Google and YouTube announced a series of product features, partnerships, and programs that will help the Filipino voters avoid misinformation and to help them know more about the candidates they are planning to vote for.
Raising Authoritative Election Information
As the Philippines Election draws near, a lot of people will turn to the internet and go on platforms like YouTube to search for information regarding candidates and the voting process. To help Filipinos, YouTube will provide the following Election Information Panels:
- Candidate Information panel – When you search for the names of the President or Vice President candidates, a candidate information panel will show above the search results page. This panel highlights information on the candidates including their political party and what office they are running for. This information will come from vetted, non-partisan, third-party sources.
- How to vote information panel – An information panel will surface anytime you search YouTube for videos on “how to vote”. These panels will link to the Commissions on Elections’ (COMELEC) website where you can view the information you need like requirements and the step-by-step of the voting process.
“Political news and events can be subject to misinformation, so the availability of authoritative information sources is crucial. Over the last few years, we’ve made deep investments to make YouTube a more reliable source for news, while also maintaining the openness of the platform. Our work is ongoing and we are committed to making YouTube a vibrant and safe community for a healthy political discourse as well as help protect the integrity of elections.”
Emily Moxley, Vice President for Product Management at YouTube
Removing Election-related Violative Content and Reducing Harmful Misinformation
YouTube’s Community Guidelines will apply to all users and content creators. Having said that, YouTube Elections MIsinformation policies prohibit the following contents:
- Misleads voters about the time, place, means, or eligibility requirements for voting, or false claims that could materially discourage voting
- Advances false claims related to the technical eligibility requirements for current political candidates and sitting elected government officials to serve in office
- Encourages others to interfere with democratic processes
- Contains hacked information, the disclosure of which may interfere with democratic processes
Additionally, YouTube systems are designed to limit the proliferation of borderline content and false information.
Supporting Fact-Checking Initiatives
The Google News Initiative (GNI) is supporting Meedan’s #FactsFirstPH. This is a coalition of more than 100 groups of news organizations which include Rappler, civil society organizations, business groups, faith-based communities, research groups, and legal organizations to fight against misinformation as the Philippine elections draw nearer.
Moreover, GNI also partnered with the University of the Philippines (UP) and launched a journalist training series, and also provide support for tsek.ph which is a collaborative fact-checking initiative led by UP.
Investing in Media Literacy Programs
Furthermore, Google.org granted USD 1.5 million to help the ASEAN Foundation expand media literacy in ASEAN member countries like the Philippines. The foundation developed a digital literacy comic book available in Filipino. You can check it out here.
“Fighting misinformation is important to Google and it takes the whole of society working together to address it. We will continue to forge meaningful partnerships with the media and community groups to help people access the right information so they can make an informed vote in the upcoming elections,”
Irene Jay Liu, Google APAC News Lab Lead
James Jimenez, Commissions on Elections Director for Education and Information