De Lima urges Google Philippines to take down fake content on YouTube

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima asked Google Philippines to be more aggressive in taking down fake videos on YouTube that serve political agendas.  

“The continued proliferation of fake videos on YouTube is highly alarming. These fake videos have been widely shared across social media platforms by well-orchestrated network of pages that aim to manipulate reality to advance their political agendas,” she said last Friday, August 23.

Citing the study “Tracking Digital Disinformation in the 2019 Philippine Midterm Election,” she said that based on the new research, the video platform played a huge role in disinformation in the Philippines especially in the recent May 2019 elections.  

The study tagged several YouTube channels "TOKHANG TV" and "Duterte NEWS PORTAL" – described as pro-administration by the study – which De Lima’s statement said has content attacking opposition leaders.  

“I should know,” De Lima said. “Evil men and women who are behind the fake news stories and videos against me have long been resorting to YouTube, among other social media platforms, to discredit me and make me appear bad in the public’s eyes.”  

She says that her staff reports these pages regularly but says that Google’s efforts have not been enough to control the proliferation of these videos. She asked that Google Philippines and its “mother unit” – its parent company is Alphabet – be more innovative in taking control.  

“The people behind these dubious accounts and channels should also be held accountable for their actions.  Media literacy and fact-checking platforms would not suffice unless technology giants like Google contribute in fighting disinformation,” she said. – Rappler.com