On questions about the #HackSociety 2017 champion

We have received complaints claiming that the winning group in #HackSociety 2017 presented an unoriginal concept of a chatbot that makes legal advice accessible through Facebook Messenger.

We are saddened by these allegations, but we stand by the decision made by our distinguished board of judges.

Rappler introduced #HackSociety as an ideathon that aims to harness the new democratic space to crowdsource "hacks" that address key social issues. The winner of this year’s #HackSociety is Team LawKo, which pitched a chatbot that aims to bridge the knowledge gap between a legal system filled with complicated terms and processes and a public that needs to know about them.

The pitch was chosen from around 100 entries from different sectors and locations across the country. Twenty shortlisted teams were then invited to participate in a 30-hour challenge composed of workshops and mentoring.

The teams were judged not just based on their initial submissions. They were required to substantiate their concepts with plans of action, including groups to tap, resources needed, and scalability models. These go beyond coding and initial content, and required familiarity with the concept. All these details could not have been copied.

Innovation is not just about creating something totally new but also building around existing ideas and improving on them. This principle brought to us services like Grab and Uber, which are built around similar concepts, aim to solve similar problems, but deliver very distinct user experiences. This was clearly recognized in the guidelines and mechanics of #HackSociety. - Rappler.com