On June 28, the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) affirmed its earlier decision to revoke the certificates of incorporation of Rappler Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corporation, effectively prohibiting Rappler from operating in the Philippines. Rappler will appeal the decision and Rappler’s CEO and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Maria Ressa, has said the news outlet will continue to work and do business as usual and not succumb to intimidation tactics.

Meedan has worked on special initiatives with Rappler since 2016 and Maria has been a valued member of our Board of Directors since 2018. Meedan supports Rappler’s decision wholeheartedly and stands in solidarity with our friends, partners and comrades in the battle for truth. Meedan condemns this effort to threaten the work and the very existence of an independent newsroom that has consistently stood out for its meticulous and ethical journalism and for speaking truth to power.

As Rappler’s partner in the #FactsFirstPH coalition, Meedan is proud of the work that this initiative has done to proactively fight against the use of social media for disinformation. On Jun 24, 2022, the #FactsFirstPH coalition was awarded Most Innovative and Impactful Collaboration at the Global Fact 9, an annual international fact-checking conference. Rappler, the organisation leading the collaboration, accepted the award on behalf of #FactsFirstPH, a coalition of over 140 news organizations, civil society groups, business organizations, legal groups, coalitions, and research groups dedicated to fighting disinformation in the Philippines.

As a group that worked closely with Rappler on #FactsFirstPH, we salute the energy and courage with which the Rappler team led the coalition. Despite several attacks on them prior to and through the period of the elections, Rappler continued to push back against lies and strengthen democratic institutions by holding those in power to account. The current attempt to close down Rappler is outrageous and highlights an extremely disturbing trend of authoritarian governments silencing critical media groups that work in challenging conditions to expose corruption and combat lies.

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Footnotes
  1. Online conversations are heavily influenced by news coverage, like the 2022 Supreme Court decision on abortion. The relationship is less clear between big breaking news and specific increases in online misinformation.
  2. The tweets analyzed were a random sample qualitatively coded as “misinformation” or “not misinformation” by two qualitative coders trained in public health and internet studies.
  3. This method used Twitter’s historical search API
  4. The peak was a significant outlier compared to days before it using Grubbs' test for outliers for Chemical Abortion (p<0.2 for the decision; p<0.003 for the leak) and Herbal Abortion (p<0.001 for the decision and leak).
  5. All our searches were case insensitive and could match substrings; so, “revers” matches “reverse”, “reversal”, etc.
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Published on
July 5, 2022
July 5, 2022