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Stop the spread of fake news, disinformation—PCOO chief

COMMUNICATION SECRETARY Martin M. Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) continues to go around the country’s towns and cities to intensify the government’s drive in fighting false news and disinformation.

In a press conference, Wednesday, in Malaybalay City, Andanar emphasized the essential roles of media in a democratic society.

He underscored community journalists’ role in reporting government’s thrusts and impacts of its projects that helped people’s appreciation of the administration’s hard work.

“When we disseminate real information, we are actually doing a good turn in serving humanity—and to the next generation—especially this coming elections. Disinformation is another form of cheating. Doing our share in dismissing disinformation is one of our civic responsibilities and that would contribute to attain fair, honest, and credible elections,” Andanar said.

When asked what one should do to help stop the spread of false news published online, he said “share responsibly by fact-checking. Verify the source of the news before sharing. You are an influencer within your own social network, so only post or share stories you know to be true from sources you know to be responsible. If you could not verify it through research, then call a neighbor, a family, or a friend. Friends don’t let friends share fake news.”

The difference between misinformation and disinformation is that the former is not intentional while the latter is intentional.

The good example of disinformation is the fake news. It is released to destroy the credibility of a legitimate organization or people. Such a dissemination activity is unacceptable totally in a community where the people are truthful. It should, therefore, be stopped whenever detected.

This was clarified by Andanar when asked by media in the press conference at the Provincial Planning and Development Office hall.

Asked further why some journalists write such stories that don’t have proper sources, the PCOO Secretary was not categorical in his answer but indicated that some sectors want our government changed to serve their own purpose.

Meanwhile, in a nationwide newscast over one of the radio stations in Bukidnon, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said: “let those out to destroy the government do their worst and we do our part.”

He said that the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other law enforcement agencies of government are very capable in ferreting out those unlawful sectors and take them to the court. (By Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy)

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