Network / The Battle For Facts In The Philippines: Launching #FactsFirstPH

Meedan is honored to work with Rappler and Google News Initiative to launch #FactsFirstPH, a first-of-its-kind initiative to fight for facts ahead of the May 2022 Presidential elections in the Philippines. More than 100 civil society organizations, newsrooms, business groups, legal groups and research groups have come together to form the #FactsFirstPH coalition. The coalition is committed to promoting truth in the public space, and seeking accountability from those who spread misleading information and falsehoods.

The goal of #FactsFirstPH is to make truth spread faster and further than lies and hate. It is designed as an initiative to help restore the integrity of elections, and give the public the information they need to choose the leaders they want on May 9, Election Day in the Philippines. #FactsFirstPH will collectively push for truth-telling and debunking lies through four steps: fact-checking by news organizations; networking by civil society and grassroots groups; research and analysis by academic institutions; and seeking accountability by lawyers’ groups.

“Without facts, you can’t have truth,” said Nobel laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa. “Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, and no democracy.”

The coalition gave its call to action on Jan 26, 2022 at a virtual ceremony that had representatives from all participating organizations. More partners will be invited to join this multi-sectoral initiative as we prepare to combat electoral disinformation.

“Democracy is the promise of governance that reflects the periodic, electoral decisions of its citizenry,” said Ed Bice, CEO of Meedan. “Networked misinformation threatens the very foundation of democracy. In response we must gather journalists, researchers, and civil society in multi-stakeholder efforts to ground voting choices in facts first. Meedan is honored to be providing its collaboration software and know-how built over the past decade of global election media monitoring to this partnership.”

“Electoral disinformation is a complex issue that presents specific challenges that can be addressed by initiatives that bring together groups and individuals who can contribute to the safety of the elections by ensuring that people receive information that is relevant, credible and verified. #FactsFirstPH does just that,” said Shalini Joshi, Program Director at Meedan. “The initiative will generate insights that will be relevant to other groups addressing disinformation related to elections.”

“Fighting misinformation is important to Google, and it takes the whole of society, working together, to address it. We are honored to support this grassroots movement across journalism, academia, civil society, and the legal community in the battle against misinformation to help Filipinos make an informed vote and protect the integrity of the democratic process,” said Irene Jay Liu, APAC News Lab Lead, Google.

To learn more about how you can be part of this movement, catch more updates on the #FactsFirstPH website

For more information, please send an email to

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