Wednesday, May 29, 2024

To fight fake news, Facebook PH doubles down on digital literacy program

Social media giant Facebook is boosting its efforts to educate Filipinos on digital citizenship amid the increasing social media activity in the country.

On Thursday, April 29, the US firm launched “Digital Tayo 2.0”, an updated version of its digital literacy program that includes new modules on Digital Engagement and Digital Empowerment.

Digital Tayo has provided free, accessible learning modules and resources to improve Filipino’s digital skills since it began in 2019. In pandemic shaped 2021, Digital Tayo 2.0’s new modules aim to prepare Filipinos for a world where there is a growing reliance on online interaction.

According to the Digital 2021 report by We Are Social and Hootsuite, Filipinos spend the most time on social media in the world. In addition, their current average time of 4 hours and 15 minutes is 22 minutes more than their time in last year’s report.

“We have seen great progress since we launched the program in 2019, but we also understand that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done,” said Clare Amador, head of public policy at Facebook Philippines, during the launch.

“Now that we’re mostly online, we see the need for us to further expand our digital citizenship to reach more Filipinos and to share more tips on how to be safe, how to be responsible, and how to be informed online.”

The Digital Engagement module covers topics such as respect and boundaries, cultivating healthy online relationships, and presenting yourself online.

Another key focus of this module is information verification. The Digital 2021 Report records that 57.2 percent of Filipinos are concerned about misinformation and “fake news” when searching for news online.

Considering that Facebook has been criticized for its role in spreading fake news over the past years, this subject has been a fixture in Digital Tayo since this program started. By updating their lessons on the importance of news verification, how to verify news, and obstacles to watch out for when verifying, Facebook is endeavoring to equip Filipinos with the skills to be protect themselves against fake news.

The second module on Digital Empowerment supports Filipinos in promoting their advocacies. Among its lessons, it teaches Filipinos how to plan their initial advocacy campaign, how to build their advocacy networks, and how to use hashtags to their best effect.

“The digital empowerment module has lessons to help learners use technology and social media to spark positive social change and create online communities. This is relevant for Filipinos who want to build their advocacies online,” Amador asserted.

As of 2019, Digital Tayo’s modules have garnered over 5 million views across partner’s social channels and the program has trained over 400,000 Filipinos over face-to-face workshops and online webinars.

Participants in these sessions have reported increased confidence in dealing with different scenarios online. Notably, 64 percent of participants said they gained confidence in identifying false news.

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