Push ‘yan! Youth solon to push for bill vs fake news

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Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago believes that Filipinos should acquire skills to tell the difference between fake and real news.

Elago is set to file this month a bill that seeks to promote critical media literacy among Filipinos.

She announced her plan Wednesday in light of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) March survey result showing that 67 percent of adult Filipinos believe that fake news online is a serious problem.

Elago said fake news has long been hounding the country, and the increasing number of online trolls and mechanisms to spread false information has only made the problem worse.

“Media literacy is not usually provided as a subject in schools. And if there is one, the curriculum treats an individual as a passive receiver of information given by media, obviously ignoring the role of an individual as a contributor to media, especially online,” she said in a statement.

“Other than media-related courses in college, many students do not receive any education on media literacy,” she added.

She encouraged the media and advocates of media literacy to support her move in filing the bill.

She also expressed alarm that the Duterte administration allowed online trolls to persist.

“There are pressing social issues that need more attention compared to the fake news that the government and trolls are ready to feed for public consumption. It is alarming that instead of addressing this issue, the Duterte administration has only responded by sustaining its online and keyboard army,” she said.

“It is, thus, more imperative to promote critical media literacy,” she added.