- Mark Balazo
Calbayog City (February 22, 2017) -- In her keynote speech during the opening of the Regional Tertiary Schools Press Conference 8 (RTSPC) held at Christ The King College, Rappler’s managing editor Glenda Gloria posed the challenge to over 200 budding student journalists of Eastern Visayas on deciphering truth amid the rise of fake news that misinform a number of incautious netizens.
“Lies are easier to accept than the truth because the truth makes the brain work harder, thus effecting the trend in the rising number of unwary netizens believing and sharing fake news,” she emphasized.
In her discussion she also pointed out that factors such as diminishing authority in social media, the fact that lies spread faster than the truth and the impact of critical thinking are the challenges people nowadays are facing.
Online news, in this day and age, has become more and more accessible compared to the traditional newspaper and radio. With the advent of technology impacting the majority of the more than 100 million people in the Philippines, accessing news and information has never been easier. With the staggering number of 119 million people with a mobile phone subscription and 3.2 hours of average time spent on mobile phones by Filipinos, it’s easy to understand why.
This issue is also made bigger with the fact that users on sites like Facebook tend to not bother consuming the entire meat of a certain article and just read its headline and either share it, comment about it or entirely ignore it if he finds it believable or not. With this lazy way of consuming digital content identifying credible news from fake becomes almost optional.
Filipinos are also regarded as one of the most socially active netizens with a 47% time spent on social media and earning the signature as “Selfie Capital of the World”. The social media people can get in touch with their family and friends from virtually anywhere as long as internet and a smartphone is on hand. But with this development comes also one of the most pressing issues of this generation – fake news and trolls.
All these issues ultimately promote to challenge the people, especially the millennials, of being intellectual enough to not believe on news posted in the many crevices of the internet without doing the means of verifying its credibility.