Stage 3
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English
Talk
Beginner
How Zero Net Neutrality Made Fake News More Potent

Short thesis

The absence of Net Neutrality, and the introduction of free Facebook via internet.org, was craftily exploited by the new social media army employed by the country's political candidates in the 2016 elections. Fake news and misleading headlines flourished through this, and continues to contribute to an ever growing problem of misinformation online.

Description

The Philippines has an internet penetration of 58% (61M), Facebook penetration of 56% (59M), of which 97% use Facebook on mobile. The lack of net-neutrality in a digital society of this scale, can be extremely harmful. It has allowed a telecom duopoly, and various content providers, direct control of what can and cannot be accessed on the internet, based on your economic resources. This, and the introduction of Internet.org in 2015, on the eve of the country's electoral campaigns, fueled the rise of social media political operators, troll farms, and bots. The public's inability to discern online information, evident in the spread and impact of fake news, has continued beyond the 2016 elections.

Jay wishes to narrate the Philippine net-neutrality experience in the context of real life societal impact, and hopes to discuss similar experiences in other countries, through a panel of experts.