Palace communicators assure action on ‘fake news’

BACOLOD City – The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) assured that it is acting against the spread of the so-called “fake news.”

PCOO Director III Princess Duque said there is an ongoing “information warfare” in the public sphere.

Duque and PCOO Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Paz Rafael-Banaag met with government officials, the media and 50 government information officers here recently.

She denied accusations that the Duterte administration has hired trolls to attack critics and spread “fake news” on social media.

Duque, PCOO director for new media, said it is the government that is being bashed by trolls.

“The work of the PCOO is to combat fake news, particularly those that create panic,” she said.

“It is important to inform the public of programs of the government to enable them to access them. We cannot build walls because we have a president who wants to work with everyone,” Banaag added,

The National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police cybercrime offices do not have the capability to take down social media accounts responsible for bashing and the proliferation of fake news, Banaag pointed out.

It would be better to ask the social media platforms to do something to regulate such activity, she said.

She also called on the public to practice critical thinking to determine what is “fake” and what is “true news.”

“Think before you share (information), think before you click,” Duque said.

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