MANILA, Philippines – Twitter last Friday, May 27, announced it was expanding its #ThereIsHelp notification service and Freedom of Expressions Search Prompt to Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The move is said to be a part of its efforts to contribute to a more free, open internet.
The new notification service will appear whenever people search for keywords that are associated with freedom of expression on Twitter. It will show the user available hotline numbers for partner organizations that can provide advice or resources on rights relating to freedom of expression and digital rights.
In the Philippines, these partners are Ideals Inc, an alternative law group working towards the empowerment of people, protection of rights, and accessible justice; the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines; and the National Union of People’s Lawyers.
“At Twitter, our mission is to serve the public conversation. We believe that freedom of expression along with access to a free and #OpenInternet is a fundamental human right. The pressures driving internet regulation in Southeast Asia highlight diverse challenges and implications, this is especially so for vulnerable groups. Expanding the #ThereIsHelp search prompt is part of our continued commitment to helping at-risk voices in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Our collaboration with local partners will ensure timely and easy access to important information and essential resources for those who need it most,” said Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, head of public policy and philanthropy, Southeast Asia at Twitter.
Twitter said that the “increasingly stringent regulatory frameworks” may potentially restrict freedom of expression and “it has never been more important for people – especially activists and journalists – to know their rights and that support is available.”
While this update is specifically concerned with freedom of expression, Twitter’s #ThereIsHelp notification service also helps lead users to resources related to a variety of issues including including mental health and suicide prevention, vaccination, child sexual exploitation, COVID-19, gender-based violence, HIV and disaster response. It is available currently in 41 languages in 106 markets around the world.
The freedom of expression search prompt was first launched in Thailand last year. – Rappler.com