Journalists in the Philippines Are Fighting Fake News Too

Senior Reporters Flag Sites Known for Disinformation in Campaign by BBDO Guerrero

Published On
Jun 15, 2017

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The Philippines, like a lot of countries, has a fake news problem. The issue seemed to gain traction in the run-up to last year's presidential election won by Rodrigo Duterte, a strongman who has led a bloody crackdown on crime.

BBDO Guerrero has worked with the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines to develop a tool called Fakeblok. It's a Chrome plug-in moderated by journalists; on social media, Fakeblok flags items from sites that have spread disinformation or hoaxes in the past.

A committee of senior journalists "has come up with a list of sites that seem to spread fake news, and that forms the basis of what gets flagged," said David Guerrero, creative chairman of BBDO Guerrero. "You get a message that says, 'this comes from a site that has published fake news, are you sure you want to read it?'"

People can report fake news as they see it, and the journalist-moderated list continues to evolve. As an example of disinformation spreading locally on social networks, Guerrero mentioned a story claiming the U.K. had lifted a visa requirement for Filipinos visiting the country; it wasn't true, but prominent figures shared it.

News outlets and agencies across the world have taken on the fake news problem recently. The Washington Post created a tool that checked President Donald Trump's tweets and filled in any missing context.

In Brazil, consumer group Reclame Aqui (Complain Here) and Grey's local office tackled the country's political corruption problem with a Chrome plug-in to highlight the names of politicians and explain the charges against them in a pop-up. In France, ahead of presidential elections, Libération daily newspaper worked with J. Walter Thompson Paris on a platform called, where people could ask journalists to vet information they find online.