Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has deplored the continued proliferation of fake videos and misleading content on video-sharing website YouTube amid calls for its owner, Google Philippines, to address the issue and clean the website of fake clips.
De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, shared that more than 100 fake videos directed at her have not yet been taken down on YouTube despite efforts by her Senate staff to regularly report these malicious clips.
“YouTube has been instrumental in the spread of fake news because it became a convenient space for fake news purveyors to spread false content to further their own personal and political agendas,” she said.
“I am just among the many victims of fake news populating Youtube. To date, there are at least 115 fake videos about me monitored and reported by my Senate staff, but given the malignant spread of fake clips in the website, there could be more of these being uploaded that we are not yet aware of,” she added.
In a recent statement released last August, De Lima addressed the continued re-distribution of fake news stories and clips on YouTube even as she urged Google PH to start the crackdown on fake videos in the website, including deep fake videos.
However, De Lima’s call for Google PH to clean up YouTube of fake news has remained unacted upon, to date.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, maintained that Google PH is responsible for the content that it allows to be disseminated in its service.
“Google PH needs to recognize that it is instrumental in winning the global fight against fake news and the stop of the propagation of hate in its platform. They cannot turn a blind eye on this issue,” she said.
“But as we await Google PH’s action on fake news, it is important for us, Filipinos, to become increasingly aware of how fake news peddlers use platforms, such as YouTube, to mislead people so we will never fall victim to their traps,” she added.
As a Senator of the Republic, De Lima has been continually targeted by fake news stories by some sinister quarters aiming to destroy her reputation and silence her from calling out the excesses of the administration in its all-out war on drugs.
The online fake news about De Lima were mostly shared and re-shared by pro-Duterte pages and websites to various social media platforms, especially YouTube.