Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Twitter inks partnership with Comelec for May polls

In the lead up to the May elections, Twitter has partnered with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to amplify voter education initiatives to protect the integrity of election-centric conversations on the platform and encourage healthy civic debate.

“With a record-breaking 65.7 million registered voters, the Philippines is expected to hold one of the largest elections in Asia. During this most important time for us as a nation; collaboration between governments, industry partners and civic organizations is crucial to protect the integrity of the elections. We are pleased to be partnering with Twitter to fight misinformation and encourage voter participation,” said James B. Jimenez, director of Education and Information Department of the Comelec.

To unite people around election conversations on Twitter, a series of customized emojis have been launched that aim to be visual links to aid the discoverability of election-related discussions. The emojis will run throughout the campaign period and will be available until 27 May.

● From March 16: Activated by the hashtag #PilipinasDebates2022 and #AskPilipinasDebates, this emoji is inspired by the microphone used during debates and the Philippine flag.

  • From March 31: For election-related conversation, Twitter is launching a special emoji that features a ballot box, a universal symbol for elections, set in front of the Philippine flag, which represents the united hope of Filipinos for a clean and safe elections. The emoji can be activated by the hashtags #NLE2022, #2022NLE, #BumotoKa, #Halalan2022, #Piniliay2022, #HIJAlalan2022, #PHVote, #PHVoteResults, and #WeDecide.
  • Taking inspiration from Comelec’s Vote SAFE Pilipinas campaign, an emoji featuring the silhouette of a female, who represents Inang Bayan or the Motherland, will be activated by use of the hashtag #VoteSafePilipinas.

Additionally, online search prompts will be available to facilitate access to authoritative sources of information on voting in both Filipino and English languages. The search prompt is a notification service that connects people to credible information about the elections.

When searching for keywords associated with the Philippine General Election such as “NLE 2022,” “Vote Philippines” and “General Election”; the search result will show a notification at the top, directing people to the latest credible election information from Comelec or VoteSAFEPilipinas.

Example of a search prompt

With its stance to ban political ads in 2019 and in line with its Civic Integrity Policy, Twitter said it is reinforcing its policies against manipulating or interfering in the elections. This includes labelling misleading Tweets to provide additional context, and to help reduce the visibility of misleading information. Twitter said it may remove or label Tweets that contain:

  • False or misleading information on participation in the elections and the voting process;
  • False or misleading information intended to intimidate or dissuade people from participating in the election. For example, falsely stating that polling places are closed; or
  • False or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in the election;

Twitter said it may also remove accounts or content that falsely misrepresent affiliation to a candidate, elected official, political party, electoral authority, or government entity.

Example of Civic Integrity Labels applied to Tweets

Twitter said it has also formed an internal elections group to lead electoral integrity work from now through polling day. Using its proprietary-built internal tools, the team will proactively protect Trends on Twitter in the Philippines, support partner escalations, and identify potential threats from malicious actors.

“Cross-functional by design, we have a dedicated and specially trained team, consisting of the company’s top trust and safety experts with local language capabilities and a deep understanding of local contexts. This blend of perspectives, expertise, and backgrounds is absolutely critical in addressing issues that arise from the elections,” it said.

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