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Anong ‘k’ nila mag- fact check? PCOO protests Facebook ties-up with Rappler, VERA Files

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The Presidential Communications Operations Office is against Facebook’s choice of the website Rappler and the non-government organization VERA Files as fact checkers of articles appealing on the social media platform.

In a statement Monday (April 16), PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy said they will discuss Facebook’s selection of gatekeepers in an upcoming meeting with the social media giant’s representatives.

“We would also like to register our protest at the choice of fact-checkers by Facebook and this will be on the agenda when we finally get to sit with them soon,” she said.

Badoy, however, clarified that PCOO supports Facebook’s campaign to ferret out and flag fake news.

“Efforts are underway for both the PCOO and Facebook to sit across the table and discuss and hopefully, reach agreements that will get us closer to our shared goal of responsible and intelligent use of social media. We ask the rest of you who are stakeholders to join in the discussion and be heard,” she said.

As fact checkers, Rappler and VERA Files can flag stories that contain erroneous information. These articles will appear lower on a user’s news feed. People will also be informed if the post they shared was rated as fake.

Journalists and netizens have criticized Facebook for choosing Rappler, which is embroiled in controversy over foreign ownership, and VERA Files to vet articles posted on its platform.

Manila Bulletin technology editor Art Samaniego called the two organization’s role as a form of censorship.

“Hindi censorship ang solution para sa akin. Para sa akin ang solusyon d’yan ay education,” he said in a radio interview.