Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

This is part of a series IFEX is producing on regional experiences with the global problem of information disorder, and what people are doing to counter it.

From blackouts to legislation, from fact-checking to education, Mong Palatino scrutinises some of the most popular responses to the problem of disinformation in his region.

Disinformation may be a global phenomenon, but its impact and the measures used to counter it vary from country to country.

In Asia-Pacific we are experiencing a rapidly changing media environment, and many countries are either in transition or besieged by political turmoil. The growing problem of disinformation clearly exacerbates social tensions and undermines democracy.

Its impact is far-reaching – and some of the proposed solutions are, as well. Maybe too far-reaching. Are measures to address disinformation – or “fake news”, as it is often referred to, negatively impacting freedom of expression and information, and closing civic space?

Several governments have responded with new laws and regulations. Media and civil society groups have launched their own initiatives to tackle the issue. Even tech companies have tweaked their platforms to prevent the spread of so-called ‘fake news’. But many of these efforts to combat disinformation have engendered their own concerns.

In this article I look at some of the most popular tools and practices in dealing with disinformation in the Asia-Pacific region, and ask: Are these solutions working? How are they affecting the lives of ordinary residents?

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