Citing the dangers of how technology can interfere in developing a cultured and healthier democracy, presidential candidate and Partido Reporma’s standard bearer Panfilo Lacson said it is high time for Filipinos to collectively address the onslaught of “fake news” and “troll farms” to avoid a possible collapse of civil society.
Senator Lacson said he is hoping that, especially during the May 2022 election season, everyone who is actively using the internet these days could exercise better critical thinking when processing all kinds of information that they are getting from it.
“It is something that we must correct,” Lacson told veteran journalist Cito Beltran during his guest appearance on his morning talk show “Agenda” over ONE News channel recently.
“Our citizens should be more cautious and they must not allow themselves to be gullible or vulnerable to what we call fake news,” the senator reiterated.
Lacson noted fake news stories have already proliferated especially on social media. The senator warned repeatedly watching or reading these fake news may eventually lead people to believe they are actually true.
No to a ‘Capitol siege’-like riot
The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief pointed out that the infamous Capitol siege in the United States is one of the example of the worst things that could happen when people fall into radicalization and violent extremism precipitated by the spread of fake news.
The Capitol siege incident on January 6, 2021 at the US Capitol was marked with a violent riot after a mob of supporters of then President Donald Trump attempted to overturn the electoral victory of President Joe Biden.
The incident resulted to multiple deaths and injuries. It also brought the Americans to the brink of another civil war, the lawmaker noted.
“So it’s worrying because in this day and age of modern information technology, it seems nothing is impossible,” he pointed out.
Lacson has earlier complained of being at the receiving end of black propaganda ever since then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration. Earlier, Partido Reporma spokesperson, Ashley Acedillo also disputed reports circulating that the senator has already withdrawn from the May 2022 presidential race.