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Twitter announces partnership with Comelec for 2022 Philippine elections

By Kara Santos Published Mar 18, 2022 4:41 pm Updated Mar 18, 2022 4:50 pm

Twitter has partnered with the Commission on Elections (@COMELEC) to amplify voter education in line with the 2022 General Election in the Philippines. 

The microblogging platform and social networking service unveiled Friday (March 18) how the public can use Twitter to find credible information about the elections, learn about candidates and their platforms, and engage in healthy civic debate and conversation.

“With a record-breaking 65.7 million registered voters, the Philippines is expected to hold one of the largest elections in Asia," said James Jimenez, director of the Education and Information Department, Comelec.

"During this most important time for us as a nation; collaboration between governments, industry partners and civic organisations is crucial to protect the integrity of the elections. We are pleased to be partnering with Twitter to fight misinformation and encourage voter participation,” Jimenez added.

Customised election-related emojis

From presidential and vice presidential debates to voting results, every election is defined by key moments in time. To unite people around election conversations on Twitter, the platform has launched a series of customised election-focused emojis. The emojis will run throughout the campaign period and will be available until May 27.

Ballot box emoji.

Taking inspiration from Comelec’s Vote S.A.F.E. Pilipinas campaign, an emoji featuring the silhouette of a female, who represents Inang Bayan or the Motherland, will be activated by use of the hashtag #VoteSafePilipinas.

Inang Bayan/Motherland emoji.

Election-focused search prompts

Additionally, online search prompts will be available, providing links to authoritative sources on voting in both Filipino and English languages.

The search prompt is a notification service that connects people to credible information about the elections. When searching for keywords associated with the Philippine General Election such as “NLE 2022,” “Vote Philippines” and “General Election”; the search result will show a notification at the top, directing people to the latest credible election information from Comelec or VoteSAFEPilipinas.

Example of a search prompt.

Warnings on misleading Tweets

Since 2019, it has been Twitter's stance to ban political ads. In line with their Civic Integrity Policy, Twitter is reinforcing policies against manipulating or interfering in elections. This includes labelling misleading Tweets to provide additional context, and to help reduce the visibility of misleading information. The platform may remove or label Tweets that contain:

  • False or misleading information on participation in the elections and the voting process;
  • False or misleading information intended to intimidate or dissuade people from participating in the election. For example, falsely stating that polling places are closed; or
  • False or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in the election;

"We may also remove accounts or content that falsely misrepresent affiliation to a candidate, elected official, political party, electoral authority, or government entity," according to Twitter.

Example of Civic Integrity Labels applied to Tweets.

“At Twitter, protecting the integrity of public conversation during elections is core to our mission. Our policies are designed to help protect against inauthentic information and safeguard healthy public conversations. Drawing on insights and lessons from previous elections, both globally and in the Philippines, we have implemented products, policies, and enforcement updates to protect and support the conversation taking place during the course of the upcoming election,” said Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, head of Public Policy, Government and Philanthropy for Twitter in Southeast Asia.

According to Twitter, they have formed an internal elections group to lead integrity work from now through polling day, to "proactively protect Trends on Twitter in the Philippines," support partner escalations, and identify potential threats from malicious actors.


Strengthening partnerships

With Comelec announcing more than four million new voters belonging to the 18 to 21 age group, the upcoming elections will see a significant number of first-time voters, including younger Millennials and Gen Zs, who will be flocking in to join election-focused conversations.

To support the diverse voter base, Twitter is also partnering and working together with partner organisations to ensure Twitter is a place for healthy public conversation.

The platform will be hosting and/or promoting a series of events on Twitter to educate voters on the elections process, fight against misinformation, and foster healthy discussions around election-specific issues:

  • #FactsFirstPH (@FactsFirstPH)
  • Foundation for Media Alternatives (@FMA_PH)
  • GMA News (@gmanews)
  • Legal Network for Truthful Elections (@lente_ph)
  • National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (@NAMFREL)
  • National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (@NUJP), and
  • Plan International Philippines (@planphilippines), coordinator of #HIJAlalan2022 - an initiative of girls’ rights groups in the Philippines forwarding a girls’ electoral agenda.

“Platforms like Twitter are where important election related conversations are taking place. We are closely monitoring abusive behaviour, this includes content in Filipino, and will not tolerate any rule-violating activities, such as spam,” added Monrawee. “Together with Comelec, non-profit organisations and other trusted partners on the ground; we continue to harness the power of the #OpenInternet to strengthen civic dialogue and encourage quality participation during this important Philippine General Election.”