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MANILA, Philippines – Rappler on Wednesday, December 20, released its new mobile app powered by the latest chat and community-building innovation, a first of its kind in the Philippines and around the world. Rappler Communities is available on web, iOS, and Android.
The app is our vision for the future of news.
“The insidious manipulation of Big Tech – inciting fear, anger and hate for profit – has destroyed the public sphere and the crucial discussions needed for democracy,” said Rappler CEO Maria Ressa. “It’s time to build our shared reality and redefine civic engagement, to restore trust.”
Rappler Communities creates a digital town square centered on facts. It allows you to organize for your passions and concerns, built with technology free from coded bias that lets you chat with journalists, civil society groups, thought leaders, or simply just your neighbors.
“With the widespread toxicity and proliferation of disinformation online, many of us opt to instead tune out, missing crucial opportunities for meaningful engagement and action,” said Natashya Gutierrez, president of Rappler. “Journalism for us has always been about driving impact and positive change. This safe space allows us to do that, with the help of our communities and changemakers.”
Why join Rappler Communities?
News can be depressing. It can make you feel helpless with the sheer magnitude of problems our country and the rest of the world face.
Through secure and responsibly moderated chat rooms, you can find people who care about the same things as you without getting drowned in noise and disinformation.
You can join multiple chat groups aligned with your interests. Conversations will cover a range of interests and passions – from governance to business, to technology, and those that light up our lives such as travel, pets, or K-pop.
To access these features, log in with your existing Rappler account or sign up for free by providing basic details like name, email, password, and city. This will aid our development team in enhancing user experience and resolving any app-related issues. (MUST READ: Rappler Privacy Statement)
AI and human moderation
How do we provide these safe spaces?
We’re using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human moderators to ensure that no hate speech and disinformation stays in the chat rooms. The human moderators are Rappler staff, including journalists and our civic engagement team.
Because Community chat rooms operate outside social media platforms, they are not influenced by algorithms that stir you toward inflammatory content. You decide which chat rooms you participate in.
It’s your voice, your choice.
The conversations will also be guided by three principles: open, attentive and inclusive dialogues; sharing of opinions based on facts; and a culture of respect and collaboration.
They’re the foundation of our community guidelines, which Rappler’s community team will strictly enforce.
The app operates on Matrix, a groundbreaking open protocol for decentralized, secure real-time communications, founded on these key principles:
- People should have complete control over their own communication
- Freedom from centralized communication silos and the ability to pick who hosts their communication
- The fundamental right to secure and private conversations
- Universal access to free, open, and global communication networks
Build – and chat – for change
Designed by Filipino journalists and tech experts, Rappler Communities drives a solution to the information dystopia created by social media companies. Our goal is to create an environment conducive to respectful, diverse, and, ultimately, action-inspiring dialogues.
The launch of Rappler Communities is the second milestone in Rappler’s goal to build a news platform that springs from the pivotal role of communities in shaping the future of independent journalism.
In 2020, Rappler introduced the Lighthouse platform, which reimagined Rappler from the ground up based on its three pillars – journalism, community, and technology. Two years later, Rappler invited select groups, our “Communities of Action” partners, to engage directly with our audience through specialized partner microsites.
Rappler Communities builds on this vision. Join us. Be part of Rappler Communities. – Rappler.com