Manila, Philippines – With the Philippines’ 2022 national elections fast approaching and in order to promote healthy civic discussion online, social media platform Twitter has partnered with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to amplify voter education initiatives on the policy, product and partnership front to protect the integrity of election-centric conversations on the platform.
To unite people around election conversations on Twitter, the platform has launched a series of customised emojis that aim to be valuable visual links to aid the discoverability of election-related discussions. The emojis will run throughout the campaign period and will be available until 27 May.
From 16 March, a microphone emoji with the Philippine flag colours can be activated by the hashtag #PilipinasDebates2022 and #AskPilipinasDebates, in line with the ongoing national debates of candidates. Meanwhile, starting 31 March, for election-related conversation, Twitter is launching a special emoji that features a ballot box, a universal symbol for elections, set in front of the Philippine flag. They can be activated using the hashtags #2022NLE, #BumotoKa, #Halalan2022, #Piniliay2022, #HIJAlalan2022, #PHVote, #PHVoteResults, and #WeDecide.
In addition, starting 31 March, an emoji featuring the silhouette of a female, who represents the Motherland, will be activated by use of the hashtag #VoteSafePilipinas.
Additionally, online search prompts will be available to facilitate access to authoritative sources of information on voting in both Filipino and English languages. The search prompt is a notification service that connects people to credible information about the elections. When searching for keywords associated with the Philippine General Election such as “NLE 2022,” “Vote Philippines” and “General Election”; the search result will show a notification at the top, directing people to the latest credible election information from COMELEC or VoteSAFEPilipinas.
James B. Jimenez, director of education and information department at COMELEC, said, “With a record-breaking 65.7 million registered voters, the Philippines is expected to hold one of the largest elections in Asia. During this most important time for us as a nation; collaboration between governments, industry partners and civic organisations is crucial to protect the integrity of the elections. We are pleased to be partnering with Twitter to fight misinformation and encourage voter participation.”
To support the diverse voter base, Twitter is partnering and working together with a wide range of partner organisations to ensure Twitter is a place for healthy public conversation. In addition, they will be hosting and/or promoting a series of events on Twitter to educate voters on the elections process, fight against misinformation, and foster healthy discussions around election-specific issues. These organisations include #FactsFirstPH, Foundation for Media Alternatives, GMA Network, Legal Network for Truthful Elections, National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and Plan International Philippines (@planphilippines).
Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, head of public policy, government and philanthropy for Twitter in Southeast Asia, commented, “At Twitter, protecting the integrity of public conversation during elections is core to our mission. Our policies are designed to help protect against inauthentic information and safeguard healthy public conversations. Drawing on insights and lessons from previous elections, both globally and in the Philippines, we have implemented products, policies, and enforcement updates to protect and support the conversation taking place during the course of the upcoming election.”
She added, “Platforms like Twitter are where important election related conversations are taking place. We are closely monitoring abusive behaviour, this includes content in Filipino, and will not tolerate any rule-violating activities, such as spam. Together with COMELEC, non-profit organisations and other trusted partners on the ground; we continue to harness the power of the #OpenInternet to strengthen civic dialogue and encourage quality participation during this important Philippine General Election.”
The platform also announced that they have formed an internal elections group to lead their electoral integrity work from now through polling day. Using their proprietary-built internal tools, the team will proactively protect Trends on Twitter in the Philippines, support partner escalations, and identify potential threats from malicious actors.
“Cross-functional by design, we have a dedicated and specially trained team, consisting of the company’s top trust and safety experts with local language capabilities and a deep understanding of local contexts. This blend of perspectives, expertise, and backgrounds is absolutely critical in addressing issues that arise from the elections,” Twitter said in a press statement.