RESEARCH CONSULTANCY

THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE 2022 PHILIPPINE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

DigitalReach on behalf of the Southeast Asian Coalition on Tech Accountability (SEACT) are looking for a short-term consultant to document the role of social media platforms during the period of the 2022 Philippine Presidential Election. Given that the 2016 Presidential Election was documented to have experienced significant information disorder and manipulation that threatened the Philippines’ democracy, this raises the question of whether and how social media platforms would that such experiences would not be repeated in 2022.

Documenting the roles of social media platforms would provide more understanding on how social media platforms affect and even jeopardize the right to free and fair election by allowing and even enabling disinformation and hate speech. In 2022, it is likely that the role of social media platforms in the election will not be limited to mainstream social media platforms such as Facebook and its affiliated products, YouTube, and Twitter. It is likely to expand to emerging platforms such as TikTok and Telegram.

Mainstream social media platforms still have to improve on their efforts at preventing disinformation and hate speech. Documenting their roles would provide an understanding of their performance in comparison to the last election. Emerging platforms might also raise more concerns due to unclear policies in handling hate speech and disinformation, especially since their efforts have been criticized as inconsistent in many documented occasions. Observing and analyzing the newly emerging platforms would provide a picture of their influence on election for the first time.

OBJECTIVES

  • To explore how social media platforms handle hate speech and disinformation in the 2022 Philippine Election.
  • To address the areas that social media platforms have overlooked in the 2022 Philippine Election.
  • To use the result for advocacy for greater accountability of social media platforms.

WORK DESCRIPTION

The consultant will work as a researcher who is responsible for the project on the following tasks;

  • Design a methodology for research
  • Document the situation using mixed approaches such as online research, observations, and firsthand in-depth interviews.
  • Write a report based on the findings. The report should highlight key findings for each targeted social media platform.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Is a Philippine national.
  • Understand the Philippines’s political context and its political structure.
  • Able to communicate in both English and local languages used in the Philippines.
  • Have at least a master’s degree in political science or related fields.
  • Have experience in conducting firsthand research.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of human rights in the Philippines, particularly freedom of expression in digital space and understand threats of information disorder to democracy.

TIMELINE AND DELIVERABLES

TimelineDetails
December 15 – January 15, 2022The candidate submits research methodology along with the application. The supervisor discusses the drafted methodology with the consultant in details following the acceptance of the consultancy.
February 1, 2022The consultant starts working on the project. The consultant is required to update progress to the supervisor on a weekly basis.
May 31, 2022The consultant submits the first draft of the report.
June 30, 2022The final draft is submitted. The draft is sent to the editor and the graphic designer.
July, 2022The report is published and launched.

CONTRACT DETAILS

The consultant will work from February 1st, 2022 – June 30th, 2022, during which the consultant is expected to complete the tasks described above, based on a work plan agreed upon with DigitalReach, the SEACT’s secretariat. The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Executive Director. The work is not full time, although the consultant is expected to be responsive to communications and provide updates related to the consultancy on a weekly basis. The compensation is 6,000 USD for completing the tasks, to be paid twice following the submission of the first draft and at the end of the consultancy.

SECURITY

The consultant is required to take digital security training and risk assessment at the beginning of the consultancy. The consultant is required to use the email provided by DigitalReach for the consultancy for security. He/she is required to use a pseudonym to conduct this research for security reasons.

SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION

Please fill in the application form and submit the following application documents by January 16, 2022.

  1. Your CV/Resume
  2. Research methodology which details how the consultant would collect information,
  3. 1-page max cover letter detailing why you are interested in this consultancy, and how you will be able to contribute to the consultancy given your experience.
  4. Names and contacts of two references
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