#FactsFirstPH

#FactsFirstPH calls on candidates to fight lies, lead fact-based campaigns

#FactsFirstPH calls on candidates to fight lies, lead fact-based campaigns
The multi-layered and multi-sectoral effort against lies and disinformation networks releases an open letter to candidates of the 2022 Philippine elections in a bid to have 'integrity of elections'

#FactsFirstPH, a multi-layered and multi-sectoral effort to fight lies and systematic information operations carried out by disinformation networks, released an open letter to the candidates of the 2022 Philippine elections on Wednesday, March 16. They called on candidates to join their endeavor by fighting back against lies and leading fact-based campaigns. The initiative brings together more than 120 newsrooms, civil society groups, business associations, religious organizations, academic institutions, and legal and human rights groups. Below is the open letter the initiative sent to presidential candidates.

Dear candidates,

This is a moment that demands the best of us. 

In the last few years, we’ve watched while technology enabled the destruction of our shared reality and polarized our people by distributing lies faster and further than facts. Without facts, we can’t have truth. Without truth, there is no trust. Without all three, we have no shared reality, no democracy – no ability to solve our most pressing problems. 

We can’t have integrity of elections without the integrity of facts. 

Every country which has a vote this year recognizes this global battle for facts; for the Philippines, winning that battle is necessary to help guarantee our citizens can make an informed choice on May 9. 

A first-of-its-kind initiative, #FactsFirstPH is a multi-layered, multi-sectoral effort to fight lies and systemic information operations carried out by disinformation networks. It’s a commitment to protect the facts and exact accountability on those who harm the public sphere with lies. More than 120 newsrooms, civil society groups, business associations, religious organizations, academic institutions, and legal and human rights groups, are working together in a four-tiered pyramid to build communities of action around facts, truth, and trust.

Now more than ever, we need leaders who value truth above power – respectful of the public sphere where democracy occurs. Please consider joining our collaborative endeavor to fight back against lies and computational propaganda by taking these simple steps:

  1. Pledge your commitment to the truth. Stand up for values that are at the heart of public service. 
  2. Commit to a fact-based campaign. Lead by example. Create a fact-based vision – and call out the lies. 
  3. Join #FactsFirstPH. Encourage your campaign team and supporters to spot and submit false claims that our coalition can fact-check. Then join our mesh layer to spread the facts. 

We live in unprecedented times – when a virus of lies in our information ecosystem can be as destructive as COVID-19. Rebuilding a better future starts now. We look forward to working with you in making your vision a reality.

You hold our future in your hands.

On behalf of the #FactsFirstPH Coalition:

Maria A. Ressa

Nobel laureate

– Rappler.com