2022 Philippine Elections

Twitter partners with Comelec to protect discussion, provide info on elections

Gaby Baizas
Twitter partners with Comelec to protect discussion, provide info on elections
The social media platform will roll out search prompts and labels for misleading tweets in order to link users to reliable information

MANILA, Philippines – Twitter has launched a partnership with the Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ensure the integrity of discourse related to the 2022 Philippine election and to link voters on the platform to credible and relevant information.

The social media platform will introduce search prompts in English and Filipino that redirect users to the websites of Comelec and VoteSAFEPilipinas. These prompts will be activated when users search for election-related key phrases such as “NLE 2022,” “vote Philippines,” and “general election,” allowing Filipino voters easy access to credible information.

EASY ACCESS. Twitter plans to introduce search prompts in English and Filipino to users who search election-related keywords. GIF from Twitter

Twitter will also roll out labels for misleading tweets to provide additional context and to reduce the visibility of misleading information. The platform may remove or label tweets that contain the following:

  • 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 (such as false claims that polling places are closed)
  • False or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in the election

Accounts or content that falsely misrepresent affiliation to a candidate, elected official, political party, electoral authority, or government entity may also be removed from the platform.

Twitter has also formed an internal elections group tasked with protecting trends on the platform and identifying potential threats from malicious actors until election day. They will monitor abusive behavior, including content in Filipino, as well as content that violates their platform manipulation and spam policy. (READ: Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube still open for abuse in PH polls)

Throughout the month of March, Twitter will roll out hashflags that are activated on different hashtags, including #PilipinasDebates2022, #NLE2022, #2022NLE, #BumotoKa, and #VoteSafePilipinas. Hashflags will also be activated on election hashtags used by child rights organization Plan International Philippines (#HIJAlalan2022) and by media outlets ABS-CBN (#Halalan2022) and Rappler (#PHVote and #WeDecide). These will run throughout the campaign period and will be available until Friday, May 27.

Twitter will also partner with several organizations to host and/or promote a series of events on voter education and combating disinformation. Partner organizations include the #FactsFirstPH coalition, the Foundation for Media Alternatives, GMA News, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), the ​​National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and Plan International Philippines.

This is the latest in Twitter’s efforts to protect conversations on the platform related to the Philippine elections. Earlier in January, Twitter suspended over 300 accounts found in an emerging pro-Marcos network composed mainly of newly-created and revived accounts.

Twitter has around 10.50 million users from the Philippines, according to We Are Social’s 2022 report.

For the 2022 polls, Comelec has also partnered with social media platform TikTok and GMA News to provide in-app election-related information. Comelec also entered a partnership with Rappler for a series of projects, but this has since been halted after Solicitor General Jose Calida urged the Supreme Court to void the deal. – Rappler.com

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Gaby Baizas

Gaby Baizas is a digital forensics researcher at Rappler. She first joined Rappler straight out of college as a digital communications specialist. She hopes people learn to read past headlines the same way she hopes punk never dies.