MANILA, Philippines, April 2021 — The Department of Health (DOH) launched the #ChecktheFAQs campaign to emphasize the importance of accurate information in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage the public to fact-check information that they come across. The campaign was launched together with various tech companies—Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter—jointly pledging their support to the initiative in line with their respective missions to help fight COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation online.
As many Filipinos spend a considerable amount of time online, the internet and social media have become major sources of news and information. In line with this, the DOH launched the “Check the FAQs” page on its website for Filipinos to have a source of trustworthy information about COVID-19 and its vaccines. Playing an important role in championing media literacy on vaccines, Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter have committed to support the campaign which includes helping build awareness for the initiative.
“As COVID-19 vaccination becomes top priority across the globe, we must also race to fight disinformation and misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and the pandemic. Spreading the right information can save lives. We, at the Department of Health, thank Facebook, Google, TikTok and Twitter for rallying together in our endeavour to spread the right information. Whenever you see or hear new information, we encourage everyone to #ChecktheFAQs. With the campaign and by promoting this single message on social media platforms, we hope to urge every Filipino to always verify any information regarding the vaccines they may come across,” said Beverly Lorraine Ho, Director of the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau and the Health Promotion Bureau, DOH.
“As access to COVID-19 vaccines expands, we will continue working closely with global and national health authorities, including the Philippine Department of Health, to make it easy for people to find authoritative COVID-19 and vaccine information across Facebook’s apps. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve connected over 2 billion people to resources from health authorities through our COVID-19 information center and pop-ups on Facebook and Instagram. We are also taking action against accounts that break our COVID-19 and vaccine rules—including reducing their distribution or removing them from our platform. While misinformation is complex and always evolving, we continue using research, teams, and technologies to tackle it in the most comprehensive and effective way possible,” said Clare Amador, Head of Public Policy, Facebook Philippines.
“As part of our ongoing role in the Philippines’ fight against the pandemic, we’re committed to protecting our platforms from misinformation—and connecting more people to information they can trust. That includes taking down harmful and misleading content across our products, raising authoritative information on Search and YouTube, providing ad grants, and supporting quality news reporting on vaccines. Globally, more than 700,000 videos related to dangerous or false COVID-19 information have been removed and our information panels on YouTube have been viewed 400 billion times, making them a valuable source of credible information. It is an honor to partner with the Department of Health to support the #ChecktheFAQs campaign and help ensure that Filipinos have timely and accurate information which is important to keep people safe and build public trust in vaccines,” said Bernadette Nacario, Country Director – Philippines, Google.
“We believe in potential harm when people don’t get the right information. Misinformation and disinformation that continue to spread about immunization can cost lives. At TikTok, we are committed to minimizing the spread of potentially misleading COVID-19 vaccine content. We take the responsibility of helping counter inauthentic, misleading or false information. To combat these, we’ve collaborated with fact-checking partners to determine whether the content shared on the platform is false. We remove misinformation that is violative of our Community Guidelines and could cause harm to public’s health, and we will continue our mission in keeping the safety of the community our number one priority. We are very glad to be working with our partners–The Department of Health, Facebook, Google, and Twitter—in raising public awareness of the importance of COVID-19 vaccination. If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it is that accurate information can help save lives. Let us protect each other,” said Kristoffer Rada, TikTok Philippines Head for Public Policy
“Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation. As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines expands, people continue to turn to Twitter to discuss what’s happening and find the latest authoritative public health information. In December, we shared updates on our work to protect the public conversation surrounding COVID-19. We also recently implemented new policies to apply labels to the Tweets that may contain misleading information surrounding COVID-19, in addition to our continued efforts to remove it. We are honored to partner with the Department of Health of the Philippines to help strengthen their efforts to promote and provide people with the latest authoritative public health information on Twitter. We believe that giving access to factual information is integral in building public confidence on vaccines, as well as keeping the integrity of public conversations around health,” said Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, Head of Public Policy, Government and Philanthropy of Southeast Asia, Twitter.