Only 5 weeks remain before the crucial 2022 Philippine election, which analysts say could determine the trajectory of the country’s democracy. Filipino voters are set to elect a new leader amid a highly polarised environment offline and online. As candidates compete through campaign rallies, similar battles are waged on social media.
But can this exercise in democracy succeed despite paid trolls flooding online platforms with edited photos, spliced videos, and fake news; hackers mounting cyber attacks against journalists; and threats, doxing, and harassment levelled at ordinary citizens expressing their opinions online? And what can be done to weather these challenges?
On April 9, 10AM to 12PM Manila time (UTC+8), Prof Nicole Curato and Dr Jonathan Ong will be sharing insights from their extensive research on online disinformation, trolls, influencers, and other digital threats to democracy.
Hosted by EngageMedia, the online event “Safeguarding Digital Rights Amid the Philippine Elections” brings together digital rights advocates, human rights defenders, civil society groups, members of the media and academe, among others.
Panel reactors include:
- Atty Rona Ann Caritos, executive director of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE)
- Lisa Garcia, executive director of the Foundation for Media Alternatives
- Prof Tony La Viña, associate director for climate policy and international relations of the Manila Observatory and former dean of the Ateneo School of Government
- Michael P. Cañares, strategy advisor at Step Up Consulting and a leading consultant on open data and open government
The session is free and open to the public. Interested participants can register using the form below.
Nicole Curato is a Professor of Sociology at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. She is the author of “Democracy in a Time of Misery: From Spectacular Tragedy to Deliberative Action” (2019, Oxford University Press) and editor of “The Duterte Reader: Critical Essays on Rodrigo Duterte’s Early Presidency” (2017, Ateneo de Manila University Press).
Jonathan Ong is an Associate Professor of Global Digital Media at the University of Massachusetts and research fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center. His research has covered new trends of online targeted harassment in global civil society, digital media, and political trolling industries in Southeast Asia, among others.