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Now Reading: DISINFORMATION | DICT, PNP launch “Kontra Peke!” to combat COVID-19 fake news
DISINFORMATION | DICT, PNP launch “Kontra Peke!” to combat COVID-19 fake news
April 6, 2020 , 09:17 AM

(APRIL 6, 2020) – The information and communications technology will team up with the national police to run after people spreading false information in social media on the coronavirus that could create panic and chaos in the communities.

In a virtual news briefing, Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said they are creating “Task Force COVID Kontra Peke” to prevent the reporting of fake news in social media.

Eleazar said the task force will address the spread of misinformation as the country grapples with the pandemic.

He also called on citizens to refrain from taking advantage of the confusing situation to proliferate misinformation and fake news on social media and other online platforms.

“Fake news tends to harm the social order and potentially endangers a person’s health by causing panic,” he said.

The DICT’s Cybersecurity Bureau (CSB), through the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), is providing technical assistance and sharing analysis with law enforcement agencies, including the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track down people fabricating and spreading fake news.

DICT Assistant Secretary for Digital Philippines, Emmanuel Rey Caintic said the agency is ready and willing to lend expertise to law enforcement agencies to help in the fight against the spread of the virus, and the spread of disinformation.

“We cannot take fake news lightly, as it threatens peace and order as well as safety of our society, especially during this time of national emergency,” he said.

He also cautioned people to not fall for fake news and sent a warning to those behind the proliferation of such. 

“We call on the public to be more vigilant in consuming information, especially those fronting as news. If you can, verify the source of an article and check for other related articles that would support what the first one is saying. Of course, for those who intentionally produce such materials, fake news, you will be liable to the full extent of the law,” he added.

Citizens caught peddling fake news could be charged for violating Republic Act 10175 (Anti-Cybercrime Law), or under Section 6 (f) of Republic Act 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal As One Act), whichever is applicable.

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