Disinformation should not define an election | Inquirer Opinion

Disinformation should not define an election

/ 04:05 AM May 10, 2022

The last six years should have taught us better; instead, it has benefited from and has fueled a well-oiled digital machine of lies and myths. An unquelled pandemic has also unwittingly contributed to the sophistication of propaganda, sowing division, and hostility, and circumventing facts to versions that suit the perpetrators’ agenda. It relies on clout and algorithms to sway a population with a known penchant for the internet and social media. Characterized by novelty, intrigue, and sensationalism, their ploys appeal to Filipinos’ biases, emotions, nostalgia, and sense of identity. On the other hand, even their well-publicized reticence and absence in traditional media and debates are old tactics in the power playbook, reinforcing the falsehoods that they are too busy perpetuating, a shell of a specter devoid of value.

It is frustrating because my generation and the ones that follow, making up the largest portion of the electorate, have been targeted and are the most vulnerable to whitewashing, despite being the most technologically adept. I lament at the extent to which these fabrications are being relentlessly shared like viral memes, corrupting and misleading minds to be morally bankrupt. I may not have lived through that era, but I learned through history lessons at school, and through credible periodicals and documentaries enough to discern that we should not fall prey to empty promises, cults of personality, or incentivized influencers. No amount of historical revisionism, disinformation, and apologism could diminish the atrocities that have happened and were committed during martial law; and the sorry state it has left the Philippines, the debts (monetary, economic, societal) to which its citizens must repay for generations to come.

An article on revisionism in The New York Times stated: “For all the warnings from 20th century writers like George Orwell that history would be forcibly stamped out, the graver threat may that people, offered a choice, turn their backs on it voluntarily.”


Recent events in Russia and China have shifted the world order from one of cautious globalization to the eradication of freedoms, demanding subservience well beyond its borders. In the case of the Philippines, it is not only the reframing of history but the collective dismissal of truth, that we will all inevitably suffer damaging consequences if left unchallenged in the days and years to come.


Magpakatino ka, kababayan! May karapatan tayong manaliksik at umunawa nang hindi nagpapadala sa mga panggagantsong nakakubli sa palamuti’t paninira. Nais naman natin na umunlad ang Pilipinas, tama?

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, disinformation, elections 2022, fake news, Letters to the Editor

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