Journalists in the Philippines fight fake news on social networks

The National Union of Journalists Philippines (NUJP) has partnered with BBDO Guerrero to develop Fakeblok, a tool that allows journalists to report and vet fake news sites, and then block them on people’s newsfeeds.

This effort was made in response to how fake news undermines the role of real journalists. Like in many countries around the world, there are no current tools in the Philippines to detect fake news. Considering 92% of people get their news from social networks, this is a serious issue.

Nonoy Espina, an editor for and a Director of the NUJP, believes that real journalists have a crucial role in the fight against fake news. “It’s part of our responsibility to call out fake news,” he says. “That’s something we have to work with, work against, and work to change.”

Fakeblok is a journalist-moderated Chrome plug-in that flags fake news on newsfeeds, and discourages users from sharing it.

Since it launched, a team of senior journalists from the CMFR (Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility) have moderated and flagged more than 2,000 stories – preventing more than 1.6 million people from reading fake news. The list is still growing.

“If we aren’t sure about what we’re reading, what we’re seeing, then let’s not share it,” Dabet Panelo, Secretary General of the NUJP, said in a recent TV interview, urging netizens to be more discerning about what they see online.

BBDO Guerrero Creative Chairman, David Guerrero, says: “False information spread through social networks is one of the defining problems of our age. This tool aims to provide journalists themselves the means to warn people against aggravating the problem by further spreading it in their networks.”