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MANILA, Philippines – Have you received an unverified message related to the coronavirus in the past few days? Maybe it was forwarded by your tita in one of your group chats on Viber?
During crises such as a pandemic, unverified reports and misleading posts online can spread as fast and as wide as the virus itself.
This is not surprising. With almost everyone locked inside their homes during the quarantine, Filipinos crave for information that could help allay any feelings of uncertainty and fear.
However, the disinformation network that casts doubt on official and established sources of reliable information makes many Filipinos – who are currently driven by fear and uncertainty – especially gullible to misleading information.
Recently, the World Health Organization said that the “infodemic” or the unprecedented surge information – be it truthful or false – has become a severe deterrent in combating the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Therefore, staying at home is not the only thing that quarantined Filipinos can do to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. It also becomes imperitive for online-savvy Filipinos to be responsible when sharing information online.
How can netizens help separate fact from fiction in the time of coronavirus?
MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, is organizing a series of webinars aimed at training participants to spot disinformation online and combat it.
A total of at least 153 participants from across the country and abroad joined the first 3 sessions conducted on April 3, April 13, and April 17.
The fourth run of the webinar will happen on Friday, April 24, at 1 pm.
This time, Gil Francis Arevalo of the Operational Readiness and Response Unit of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Philippines will be among the panelists. He will discuss how rumors negatively impact efforts of the humanitarian sector to help during this time
Interested participants for the fourth webinar may visit this link or register below to reserve a slot: