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Twitter improves Freedom of Expression search prompt in Southeast Asia

Twitter has decided to expand its Freedom of Expression search prompt in Southeast Asia together with the help of different local organizations.

There is no denying that we are now in the digital era where various social media platforms have been thriving as the number of internet users continues to grow. Each of us now has the power to curate our own social media accounts where we can rightfully and freely express our thoughts and opinions, and even share our own stories. But alarmingly, there have been numerous cases where certain users have been restrained, banned, and worse, experienced receiving threats just by simply voicing out their criticisms towards certain socio-political issues.

As a way to protect our freedom of expression rights, Twitter has announced the expansion of #ThereIsHelp, a Freedom of Expression search prompt dedicated to helping individuals to have access to information about certain issues, and for users to know what are their rights are as citizens, in certain Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. To help strengthen this initiative, Twitter has made its way to partner with different local organizations in each country to help promote this search prompt. In the Philippines, Twitter has partnered with IDEALS Inc, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines, and the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) in providing users with the necessary assistance.

With the #ThereIsHelp search prompt, users can search keywords relating to freedom of expression, and the organization, CHR Philippines, can provide support and information about the user’s civil and human rights. This search prompt also provides users with access to critical resources that can protect their freedom of expression with the help of IDEALS organization Philippines. And when users need to search for important information and links about freedom of expression and digital rights, the National Union of People’s Lawyers can provide them with the relevant resources needed. The different hotline numbers of these organizations and partners are also made available to those users who are in need of advice and other support.

These simple measures from Twitter and its partner organizations can greatly encourage individuals to become more aware of how they can protect their freedom of expression and their rights as a citizen of a country, especially on a platform where journalists, activists, and even normal citizens can be at a huge risk. As the fight in defending our freedom of expression continues, we must be reminded that fear only feeds the hands of the oppressors who will try to silence and force us to be drowned with lies but with the help of one another, we can achieve a society where we won’t have to feel frightened when we decide to fight for the truth.


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