Filipinos block people online over political views – U.S. think tank

MANILA, Philippines –  Filipinos may be "comfortable" with discussing politics on social media, but they have also blocked someone over political views, a new study by the Pew Research Center found. 

The Mobile Technology and Its Social Impact Survey 2018 showed the Philippines scored the highest out of 11 emerging countries where social media users blocked someone online due to politics.  

The United States-based think tank released the survey results on Monday, May 13, coinciding with the midterm elections in the Philippines

A total of 42% of Filipino social media users have blocked someone over their politics, while 57% have not. 

This is followed by Kenya, where 39% of users have blocked someone due to political views, Lebanon with 37%, and Vietnam with 36%. 

The same study, however, also showed the Philippines topped the other 10 countries in terms of being comfortable talking about politics both offline and online.

A total of 81% of Filipino respondents said they are "comfortable" talking about politics face-to-face, while only 18% disagreed. The same trend has been recorded in Lebanon, Vietnam, and Kenya, where about 3/4 or more of the respondents said they are willing to talk about politics in person.

The Pew Research Center also found that people who are comfortable talking about politics believe these discussions play a "very important" role in helping them stay informed about politics and other developments in the world.

"They are also more likely to trust the news and information they get from these face-to-face discussions," said the Pew Research Center. 

As for political conversations online, 45% of adult mobile phone users in the Philippines are "somewhat comfortable" with engaging in these discussions, while 27% said they are "very comfortable." Only 20% said they are "not too comfortable" with talking politics online, while 8% said they are "not at all comfortable" with it.

The same study showed that residents of the 11 countries surveyed have been exposed to false information online.

A total of 68% of Filipino residents have seen online content that were obviously false, placing the Philippines in 6th place behind Tunisia which has 78%, Lebanon with 76%, Vietnam with 72%, Jordan with 71%, and South Africa with 69%. (READ: Emerging economies catching up in smartphone adoption – survey)

The results of the Pew Research Center survey are based on face-to-face interviews conducted from September to December 2018 among 28,122 residents across the 11 countries. A total of 2,487 adult Filipinos were surveyed. – Rappler.com 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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