'Hackathon' eyes crackdown on fake news

Bayan Mo Ipatrol Mo

Posted at Aug 18 2019 04:02 PM

Participants present their proposals on how to address fake news and disinformation to a panel of judges.

A group from Cebu presents their proposal via video call.

Students studying tech courses and professionals in the information technology field join the hackathon.

MANILA -- Students and professionals from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will face off in a "hackathon" or software contest that aims to weed out fake news on social media next month in Manila, organizers said Sunday.

"We saw that there's a rich potential in technology, especially in the youth, with all their energy and their spirit in doing something about issues of national importance," said Gab Billones, co-founder of Break The Fake Movement, which hosts the hackathon bearing the same name.

"We believe that we can do something to move a little on the issue of fake news as long as we make sure we do all our efforts to tap into this potential," he added.

Fake news "hurts the unity of the country," Juan Dalisay of the start-up Social Resource Allocation said at the hackathon's launch at De La salle University.

"By having a system that solves fake news from the source, which is the people themselves, hopefully the unity of the country will be put back together and we can progress as a whole country," he said.

Melinda Quintos De Jesus of Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Marlon Nomrado of Out-of-the-Box Media Literacy Initiative, and Samuel Cabbuag of the University of the Philippines' Sociology department also talked about the importance of media literacy and press freedom in the event.

This was followed by the proposal presentation by 12 teams of students and professionals on how to address disinformation online.

Troglodite, a team composed of students and professionals, won with the best proposal and was awarded P10,000.

They will compete with teams behind the winning proposals from
Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur on September 13 to 15 for a P100,00 grand prize.