MANILA, Philippines – With the widespread misinformation and hate on social media, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV proposed that schools teach students how to properly and responsibly use new media.
Aquino, chairman of the committee on education, filed Senate Resolution Number 173, calling on the chamber to conduct an inquiry into the teaching of proper social media use in schools.
Aquino said he is worried by the prevalence of misinformation and use of abusive language, especially by so-called “paid trolls”, citing experience in the recently concluded May 2016 polls. He added that such phenomena have become a global concern now.
“There is growing concern across the globe over how social media is increasingly being used and abused to spread fake news and misinformation. In the Philippines, this unfortunate phenomenon was observed widely during and following the recent national elections,” Aquino said in his resolution.
“Aside from the spread of misinformation, the increasing use and regularity of abusive language in social media posts has also alarmed various groups,” he added.
The senator pointed out how other organizations have addressed the worldwide worry, citing Twitter’s implementation of its new guidelines on the removal and moderation of abusive language and Rappler’s #NoPlaceForHate campaign, among others. (READ: Facebook, Twitter join news orgs in fight vs fake news)
Since social media is relatively new compared to other traditional forms, Aquino said “social norms, best practices, and guidelines are still evolving.”
Schools and universities, therefore, play a “critical role” in teaching and guiding the youth on how to be ethical, critical, and productive social users to counter misinformation online.
“Our schools can play a critical role in guiding students to become ethical and productive digital citizens and to communicate properly and respectfully online,” said Aquino.
The senator, whose family was among the prominent victims of Martial Law, earlier called out the online historical revisionism of Martial Law and led a probe into the status of Martial Law education in Philippine schools. (READ: Official Gazette under fire for Marcos photo caption)
“Kung mayroon silang foundation of what is right, what is wrong, ano iyong nangyari, ano iyong hindi nangyari, pag online na sila ay mas may kakayahan silang suriin kung ano talaga iyong nangyari o hindi. It starts with our educational system,” he earlier said.
(If they have a foundation of what is right, what is wrong, what really happened, and what did not happen, when they go online, they will be more capable of scrutinizing information. It starts with our educational system.) – Rappler.com