"The youth is the hope of the future."
These were Dr. Jose Rizal's words in a time where the nation was pillaged and in bondage. It was a time where the Filipino spirit was beaten down and our were values challenged. In a twisted turn of events, we see history repeating itself. Today, our oppressors no longer come in the form of colonizers. They are the trolls, paid propagandists, and purveyors of fake news.
Because Adobo Chronicles, OKD2, and getrealphilippines are considered legitimate news sources by some, democracy became #demoCRAZY, human rights could have costed less than the iPhone X, and those who criticized the government were labeled "dilawans".
If the youth is the hope of the future, we say that the future is now and we want YOUth.
Why YOUth should care
News articles reflect the current state of the country that is broadcasted to a mass audience with the help of media. It shapes how we view the world and the decisions we make; be it in the places we visit, schools we go to, or politicians we vote for.
Fake news, however, deliberately masquerades itself as legitimate news with the intention of forwarding personal interests. It is baseless, disruptive, and selfish. It serves as a way to fool the people and in most cases, distract them from the real issues we should tackle.
We see fake news everyday and we are directly affected by it. Our nation is shackled by fake news, and we have the power to free it.
|Our strings are pulled by the deception of fake news. It is time to break free.|
What YOUth have done
Temperamental brats was a title given to insult us. It is now a title we own. This is true in a time where there are so many things to be mad about, especially with the rise of fake news.
Here are some of the instances where our power, both online and offline, #shookt the nation.
1. Waging War Against Misinformation
Fact Check Philippines alongside partner organizations such as Digital Millennial and Assortedge, etc. hosted an event and workshop to effectively combat misinformation and fake news.
|Organizers of Fact Check Philippines, Iloilo chapter.|
2. Outrage at the burial of a dictator at the LNMB
A big number of Millennials gathered in the streets to express dissent on Marcos' burial in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani. Millennials reinvented protests by bringing creative placards, giving birth to the title "Temperamental Brats".
|A collegiate organization participating in the Anti-Marcos Burial rally.|
3. Heal Our Land
Youth organizations together with NGOs, sectoral groups, and academic institutions gathered for a mass that was followed by a prayer rally from EDSA Shrine to The People Power Monument calling to end the killings and start the healing in the Philippines.
|Different groups participating at the symbolic candle-lighting at the People Power Monument.|
4. #FACTPHnow: Social Media Summit
Young Filipino Advocates of Critical Thinking or YFact organized an event that showcased different speakers who shared their insights on the climate of social media in the Philippines and how we can improve it.
|One of the speakers talking about social media toxicity in the country.|
What YOUth should do
The battle against fake news isn't just about fake news. It is about the ideology, or lack thereof, behind it. It is about the social issues it speaks of. It is about the values it tries to normalize.
Joining the fight and conversation happens both online and offline. We can't just win behind the screen, we should also take ownership of the streets.
Online, here are some of the things we can do to fight.
Offline, here are groups and organizations we can connect with to fight the good fight. These are groups and pages that not only fact-check articles, they also conduct seminars, talks, and other gatherings that equip us with the tools to fight back.
|Young, smart, and fighting|