Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has partnered with social media giants, Twitter and Facebook, in an effort to reach and better educate Filipino voters on the upcoming national elections in May 2016.
COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista tweeted the partnership with Twitter on January 25, 2016, adding that they are working towards a more dynamic and meaningful public engagement".
According to Rappler's report dated January 26, 2016, the partnership dubbed as #TwitterElection aims to allow the voters to access more political information, interact with election candidates, and make sharing of ideas easier through tweets, Vines, and Periscopes.
"We look forward to working with Twitter to make the presidential debates more accessible to millions of Filipinos, and on a larger scale, to increase voter participation and political transparency throughout the presidential election this year," said Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista in the same report.
In a separate tweet, COMELEC posted a photo of Bautista together with Rishi Jaitly, Twitter's vice president of media for Asia Pacific & Middle East.
"Being on Twitter is like having a front row seat to the presidential election. It's the best place to go to get live updates of political campaigns and publicly connect with candidates, while giving every Filipino a voice to be heard during the election. We're proud to partner with Comelec to make this the first truly Twitter Election for Filipinos and enable more People Power to discuss, debate and choose the next government of the Philippines," said Jaitly in the report.
In addition, COMELEC also tweeted that the partnership is a "major step forward in terms of fostering the emergence of a well-informed electorate."
The partnership involves three aspects. First is content discovery or the introduction of real-time data, visualisations, and analytics during the debates of presidential and vice presidential candidates. Second is human connection or the crowdsourcing of insights and questions, through the #PiliPinasDebate2016, that will be posed to the candidates on debates. Lastly, self-expression, which will allow the COMELEC -through a tweet-powered dashboard -to collect and act on real-time to citizen reports.
Aside from Twitter, COMELEC has also partnered with Facebook.
"Filipinos log on to Facebook daily because they want to know and learn more about the candidates that are running for office in these elections. But they're also debating the issues that are important to them on Facebook with their friends and learning more about those issues. And the candidates also want to reach out to the voters through Facebook," said Elizabeth Hernandez, Facebook's head of policy for Asia in a report from CNN Philippines January 29, 2016.
This partnership will allow Facebook to crowdsource comments and questions that will be fed to the candidates during debates. According to the CNN report, Facebook will keep a tab on political discussions and at the same, monitor and inform the COMELEC on issues that interest the public. There will also be a "voter megaphone" to alert the Facebook users on election day.
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