• AC HIMAYA V. TUPAS
With a mission to promote responsible digital citizenship and media and information literacy (MIL) in order to combat disinformation and misinformation, the Break the Fake Movement, under the ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme, launched the “#DigiTalino Caravan” in Bacolod City at the University of St. La Salle (USLS) MM Auditorium B on February 15.
Break the Fake Movement is an independent alliance of young professionals who are committed to the aforementioned advocacies which has been chosen by Google.org and the ASEAN Foundation as the local implementing partner of the ASEAN Digital Literacy Programme, a two-year program that aims to combat misinformation and disinformation in the region by providing digital literacy training for youth, teachers, parents, community leaders, and government officials in collaboration with local implementing partners.
During the seminar-workshop, Break the Fake Movement Chief Organizer Gabriel Billones Jr. and Master Trainer Cherry Lopez discussed the power of information, disinformation in today’s era, discerning biases, and how to protect the self from misinformation and disinformation.
“We aim to build new youth leaders in our online community through this program. With the rise of cancel culture, smart shaming, and fake news, we saw the need to develop critical thinking and awareness among our beneficiaries so they get to create better decisions through good discernment. When people are empowered to make decisions based on truthful information, we get to create a well-informed community,” Billones said.
The “#DigiTalino Caravan” in Bacolod was in collaboration with the Communication Society – USLS and was participated by representatives from the university’s Psychological Society, Political Science Society, College of Arts and Sciences Council, and BALAYAN Social Development Center along with select members of external organizations including Bacolod City National High School, STI – West Negros University, University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos, and Philippine Reef & Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc.
“It is very important to help spread more awareness about MIL especially among the youth because a lot of young people are able to influence other people around them. It is our hope that in the years to come, MIL would just be a “normal thing” and not an issue that we need to address anymore,” Lopez added.
Break The Fake Movement, along with partner organization Limitless Lab, aims to educate at least 20,000 Filipinos on digital literacy with underserved sectors such as youth, indigenous people, teachers, elderly, and PWDs as their target beneficiaries.
According to Billones, the program has reached over 6,000 beneficiaries so far throughout its trainings and workshops in various cities nationwide, and will hold an upcoming caravan in Iloilo City on Feb. 20.
“To be a #DigiTalino citizen means you have to be responsible with the information that you consume and share online. The battle of information starts in the mind—that’s why we have to be more cautious so as to not be manipulated through online means,” Lopez highlighted.*