Information Dystopia and Philippine Democracy

Information Dystopia and Philippine DemocracyOnline disinformation and the weaponization of digital platforms constitute unprecedented challenges to both liberal democracies and the media sector.

The Philippines is one of the first countries where the potential for online disinformation threats to undermine democratic processes, especially during elections, was noticed.

Internews asked Professor Yvonne Chua, Associate Professor at the Department of Journalism, College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines, Dr. Nicole Curato, Associate Professor at the Center for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance of the University of Canberra, and Dr. Jonathan Corpus Ong, Associate Professor at the Department of Communication of the University of Massachusetts and Research Fellow at the Shorenstein Center of Harvard University, if they would mobilize their expertise and years of observation of the disinformation phenomenon in the Philippines to help lnternews understand the Philippine information ecosystem and explore possible new routes to complement our existing efforts to address disinformation.

This report takes a deep look at an online survey that Internews conducted, explores the cultural and emotional dimensions of disinformation and how they form part of the broader political transformations taking place in the Philippines, examines how the Philippine disinformation ecosystem fits into the regional landscape, looks into financial incentives and legislation, and formulates a set of strategic and programmatic recommendations to better tackle the issue of disinformation in the Philippines.