Rappler+ Exclusive

Social media, disinformation and the 2019 Philippine elections

Rappler Research Team
This research attempts to provide a snapshot of the role social media played in Philippine electoral politics with a particular focus on how candidates in the 2019 senatorial race used this medium
Written by Gemma B. Mendoza
With research byWayne Manuel, Akira Medina, Vernise Tantuco, Michael Bueza, and Glenda Marie Castro

This study, conducted by Rappler’s research group, was released exclusively to Rappler+ members in the months leading up to the 2019 Philippine elections. It is based on preliminary data as of February 2019. Click on the links in the table of contents below in order to read each section of the study.

Overview and Summary of Findings

This research attempts to provide a snapshot of the role social media played in Philippine electoral politics with a particular focus on how candidates in the 2019 senatorial race used this medium.

Background: Social Media and Philippine Elections

The use of digital technologies and social media in Philippine politics and electoral campaigns has changed significantly since this communication medium was first tested by candidates in the 2010 Philippine national and local elections.

2019 Election Findings: How Was Social Media Used by Senatorial Candidates

Taking off from the experiences of 2016, most of the candidates who were within a stone’s throw of the Magic 12, according to surveys, had some form of social media presence months – or even a year – before the official campaign period. Quite a number of these senatorial candidates embraced some of the social media tactics employed by then-presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Given its reach and impact on previous elections, social media is obviously a major area where candidates need to engage, and was something that needed to be monitored closely in the 2019 elections. But clearly, the medium needs to be understood better in relation to campaign finance monitoring, along with its role in the conduct of healthy, free, and fair elections.

Methodology and scope of research

This section explains how we gathered, assessed and analyzed Facebook data.

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