How Twitter enables Filipinos to find inspiration, community, and information during the pandemic

In these uncertain times, it’s important that we share kindness and right information especially to those who need it. Twitter has played a critical role in keeping Filipinos entertained, connected, and in amplifying authoritative information from credible sources. It is where people get real-time updates first on vaccination drives or quarantine measures and also a place where communities help and inspire each other through gratitude, and cautious optimism.

In the Philippines, there were more than 10 million COVID-19 related Tweets between March 2020 to August 2021[1]. A deeper dive also reveals how the conversations around the topic evolved as they discover something new while on lockdown or as they learn to navigate these uncertain times and beyond. Here are the top COVID-19 related hashtags in the Philippines from March 2020 to August 2021.

Here are some of the top trends and Tweets that have shaped these conversations.

 Lifting spirits in the face of adversity

Filipinos are using Twitter to express their gratitude for the frontliners who are battling against the pandemic, just like this Tweet from Tita Nurse (@titanursemnl) which is one of the top COVID-19 related Tweets. Despite the distance, Tweets serve as the bridge that connects the community and the way to amplify support and appreciation.

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Showing a united front

Apart from gratitude, Filipinos also go to Twitter to call for unity and spark discussions on relevant and prevailing issues. Kayle’s (@salitangkalye) Tweet is an example of how the community demonstrates their commitment to protecting their community and encouraging others to do their civic duty.

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Despite the onset of cases and numerous #lockdowns, Filipinos show a united front by using Tweets such as #wehealasone and #stayhome to remind people that there is a community that looks after the welfare of others.

 Staying informed in evolving circumstances

Twitter is the place to get information as it unfolds, and Filipinos actively share the information through Retweets or by sparking their own conversation so it will reach more people. Anyone, be it the media, industry leaders, and citizens, can lead or share information so it’s important to amplify those that came from credible sources or what is truly relevant to the public.

For example, medical experts such as Dr. Edsel Salvana (@EdselSalvana) uses Twitter to share his knowledge as an infectious disease physician and other useful information to encourage people to seek proper medical attention.

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Protecting the Health & Safety of Conversations

Not all information, however, is equal – and especially in these uncertain and ever-changing times. Twitter’s top priority is to serve the public conversation – and recognising in early 2020 that people need reliable information from credible sources now more than ever, Twitter implemented COVID-19 misinformation policy. To date, Twitter has challenged 11.7 million accounts, suspended 1,496 accounts, and removed over 43,010 pieces of content worldwide.

Moreover, Twitter has also embarked on a number of partnerships and initiatives to support Filipinos with timely, accurate information as the nation learns to navigate COVID-19 together. These include:

  • COVID-19 Search Prompt: Partnered with the Department of Health (@DOHgovph) and WHO Philippines (@WHOPhilippines) point people to DOH’s website and WHO Philippines’ Twitter account.

  • COVID-19 Events Page: Real-time credible and official information about COVID-19 from authoritative government agencies, public officials, civil society, and media.

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