“Fake News” Through the Lens of the State: A Thematic Analysis and Illustration of the Non-decision by the Duterte Administration (72080)

Session Information: E-democracy

Session Chair: Julio Teehankee

Thursday, 29 June 2023 13:30
Session: Session 2
Room: Room B (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

While being regarded as the "social media capital of the world", The Philippines is also infamous for being the “patient zero" of the fake news crisis. Despite several proposals, the Philippines is yet to enact legal measures against fake news. This study presents the case of the Philippines as an illustration of non-decision and mobilization of bias by Bachrach and Baratz (1963). Thematic analysis of the news articles published by the Philippine News Agency paints a covert move by the Duterte administration to control the fake news crisis and narrative to benefit their vested political agenda. While there were calls and efforts by the state, primarily by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, in reality, these only mask the simultaneous attacks on dissidents, the press, and the opposition. Our analysis of 145 online news articles from August 2017 to June 2022, tells how the Duterte administration took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic vis-à-vis the proliferation of fake news to justify its draconian and arbitrary rule.

Georgeline Jaca, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University, Japan

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