(2nd UPDATE) Campaign Rules for 2022 only allow verified online pages to “carry election advertisements and stimulate or promote election messaging.”
Some candidates for elective positions in the 2022 polls have called on their supporters to help them reach 100,000 subscribers and obtain YouTube verification badges, amid fears over the potential implications of new Election Commission guidelines (Comelec ) on social media campaigns.
A November resolution from the polling body asked candidates to register with Comelec the web address of all their “official accounts verified by the platform”, and said that only verified online pages can “disseminate campaign advertisements and stimulate or promote campaign positions”.
Senatorial aspirant Chel Diokno, who had 19,000 subscribers on the video streaming platform as of the morning of December 10, earned a verification badge on Saturday December 11, after calling on supporters to follow his YouTube channel.
On Sunday evening, the human rights lawyer had 205,000 subscribers.
“Finally, we have the tick checked! I am overwhelmed with your support!” he posted on Facebook on Saturday.
“But I have one more request. Please also subscribe to the YouTube channels of Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Kiko Pangilinan and my fellow senatorial candidates,” added Diokno, who is on the senatorial list of candidates to the presidency and vice-presidency Robredo and Pangilinan.
Former Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares, who is also giving the Senate another chance, issued a similar appeal to his supporters on Sunday, December 12.
“Based on the latest Comelec rules, I need at least 100,000 subscribers to have my YouTube channel verified and cleared to show political ads and campaign material. This is important for someone like me, because I can’t afford expensive TV ads and I’ll be relying mostly on social media for my campaign,” said Colmenares, who had just 16,000 subscribers as of Sunday night.
On Monday, Dec. 13, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez clarified that under new election guidelines, 2022 candidates can still post content to their unverified accounts. They will not be held responsible for an election violation.
Comelec partners with YouTube
On Saturday, Jimenez revealed that the polling body would partner with the video streaming giant to ease the vetting process for 2022 aspirants.
“We will be working with YouTube to add a verified badge for official applicants who submit their official YouTube channel to Comelec,” he tweeted.
Jimenez also shrugged off criticism that the policy could further unbalance the rules of the online game.
“It costs no money for official candidates to be verified and verification will help establish accountability for the information these candidates post,” he argued.
Lawyer Emil Marañon, who was chief of staff to late Comelec president Sixto Brillantes Jr., criticized Comelec’s new policy.
“Bongbong Marcos doesn’t spew lies and misinformation through his verified social media accounts, but through thousands of paid troll and influencer accounts – some verified but 99.9% unverified. That’s why he’s foolish to even believe that verifying the platform is the solution,” he tweeted on Saturday, referring to the online network the Marcos family has built to spew misinformation, as part of its effort to retrieve Malacañang.
“YouTube is an important platform for many campaigns because running ads and videos there is free, unlike TV which costs millions. They are also not covered by airtime limits” Marañon added, “I just hope Comelec wakes up from this madness and reconsiders this very arbitrary policy.”
On its website, Google says a channel “must reach 100,000 subscribers” to be eligible for verification.
But YouTube”sometimes proactively” checks channels with less than 100,000 subscribers if they are ” well known “.
It’s still unclear exactly how Comelec will coordinate with YouTube on the vetting process, and whether the video streaming platform is ready to give badges to every candidate in the 2022 Philippine elections who registers their channel with the vetting body. survey.
There are more than 18,000 national and local positions up for grabs in next year’s vote. – Rappler.com