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theguardian - 29 days ago

Facebook and fear in Manila: Maria Ressa’s fight for facts

Ex-CNN reporter and founder of the news site Rappler on life under the relentless social media assault of the Duterte regimeAs terrible as the events were that played out on Capitol Hill on 6 January, Maria Ressa admits to feeling “a small amount of relief” about them. An ex-CNN bureau chief, and now the founder of her own news organisation, Rappler, she had spent the past two years sounding a warning about what she’d seen happen in her native country, the Philippines.There, a Facebook-fuelled tsunami of lies had assisted an authoritarian into power. And she had seen where that had led: to opponents of the state being killed in their homes or turning up dead in ditches. As a Filipino American with a foot in both countries – she calls herself “the first of the CNN hybrids” – she was perfectly positioned to warn America about what happens when a populist president is allowed to spread out-of-control lies across a vast, unregulated tech platform. “A lie told a million times becomes a fact,” she repeated again and again. Continue reading...


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