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Monitoring Philippine Elections through Social Media

Millions of Filipinos trooped to voting centers on May 10 as they participated in the country’s first ever automated election system. Filipinos were surprised and happy to learn that results in most povinces have been transmitted already to the national tabulation center. The Commission on Elections is expected to announce the results of the elections within the day.

Election coverage was not just provided by mainstream media groups. For the first time, bloggers were accredited by the poll body as members of the press. Powered by citizen journalists, these websites have provided reliable updates about the 2010 elections: Juanvote, Blogwatch, and 100araw.

Members of 100ARAW.com and Blogwatch.ph have laid claim to a place in the history books. They have arguably become the first Filipinos not directly connected as reporters of any professional news media outfit to be granted media accreditation to cover the 2010 elections.

Juanvote enjoined Filipinos and citizen journalists to actively monitor the conduct of elections

#juanvote challenges all Filipino netizens to be champions of Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections by taking action on May 10.

This May 10 we would have two “firsts”: The first nationwide automated elections, and the first social media coverage to be mounted by citizens.

We must not just vote: We must use all our powers as social media users to help others vote and to guard the vote. Armed with our cellphones, digital cameras, and social media tools, we can make a difference.

Juanvote has also issued a guide for netizens on how to report incidents of fraud and violence

How to Report
#juanvote welcomes all types of reports through the following:
Twitter Use hashtag #juanvote
Email: report(at)juanvote.com
Text and send to any of the following numbers:
09274004190
09995178201
09223913567
Send photos via our email at photos(at)juanvote.com. Use the Subject line to describe your photo with the #juanvote hashtag (140 characters). 1 Photo per email. (Example format: PCOS machine malfunctions at QC school – via @yourtwitterusername or your name #juanvote)
To send multiple photos, please send them to report(at)juanvote.com

PCOS Voting Machine. From the twitpic page of misterjpmanahan

The poll body has already uploaded partial results of the elections. Again, this is the first time in Philippine history that election results have been posted on the web on the same day of the elections. But due to heavy traffic, the website is sometimes inaccessible. It is advisable to check other websites which also upload the unofficial results of the elections: PPCRV and GMA-7.

Based on citizen reports, a map was created to highlight problems encountered during elections. A spreadsheet was also created to gather reports of voting machine breakdown in several parts of the country. Elections were liveblogged through Purple Thumb Live! Photos of the recently concluded elections ca be accessed through Flickr, Purple Thumb, and Bulatlat.

Election scene in Iloilo Province. From the twitpic page of JuanVote

Twitter has been very useful in monitoring the elections. Filipinos used these hashtags in reference to the elections: #halalan, #juanvote, #eleksiyon2010, #PurpleThumb, and #votereportph. Some of the most recent tweets about the elections:

kzapkzap: Congratulations Philippines! NOTHING CHANGED! You Win! Democracy Wins! Now Stop Complaining about your Country! #halalan #juanvote #eleksyon
bonedoc: thinks automation is not the issue. Juan's voting habit is.uh, well we need a psych tes
rbahaguejr: Do i expect change after this election? With Noynoy (with his mediocre credentials), Gloria in Congress, Recto in Senate? Frak!
lorenbartilet RT @blaisegomez: The elections was peaceful. But I don't think my country will have peace for the next 6 years
markitotz I will be an advocate of intelligent voting. Who's with me?
DonVitoCorle0ne RT @tageswanderer: For the record, whoever wins the elections, let's cooperate and be part of the solution. There, I've said it
charleserize #halalan followup: don't sourgrape, congratulate winners, that will make you a more'winner’ than them,:)
TheXCoder We hope those who never emerged victorious in the war will lay down their weapons & support the new regime
thesilverpixie Woke up and first thought in my head: Oh great. Focus. You have Noy Noy Aquino for President now. *disturbed beyond words

2 comments

  • You know a gentlemen when you see one…. Estrada is never one of them… he was proven to be a Swindler and now he is a sore looser for not accepting his defeat.

  • […] some of their early experiences and conclusions. I recommend Mong Palatino's overview, “Monitoring Philippine Elections through Social Media“, to get a better idea of how Twitter and blogging played a distributed role in monitoring […]

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