[Event] Freedom of Expression Conference FreeXP.con IV

Freedom of Expression Conference FreeXP.con IV

“Fighting misinformation and defending freedom of expression during COVID-19 in the Philippines”

Date:    30 November 2020 (Monday)

The Human Rights Online Philippines https://hronlineph.com/ is excited to announce the Freedom of Expression Conference 4 that will take place both online and offline.

Since 2017, we have brought together human rights defenders, journalists, information and technology experts and freedom of expression advocates in the country to exchange views and share experiences about asserting human rights and claiming freedom of opinion and expression through online platforms.

Here’s a glimpse into what the FreeXP.con experience is like. You can explore moments of FreeXP.con at https://hronlineph.com/freedom-of-expression-conference-freexp-con3/

FreeXP.con IV with a theme, “Fighting misinformation and defending freedom of expression during COVID-19 in the Philippines”, will provide a critical platform for what is required at this moment: experts and advocates connecting, coordinating, and advancing a shared agenda to help in combating misinformation and disinformation online.

Permissible restrictions on freedom of expression for reasons of public health, may not put in jeopardy the right itself. The World Health Organization (WHO) has emphasized that accurate, timely information is essential to fighting COVID-19 pandemic. The government should adopt responsible strategies of risk communication which pay attention to rumors and correct them, do not amplify and promote false information.

Yet the government is cracking down on people and implementing sweeping restrictions under the guise of combating misinformation. While we share the concern that false information about the pandemic could lead to health concerns, panic, and disorder. More Filipinos are turning to social media platforms to vent their frustrations about the government’s response to stop the spread of COVID-19. “The power in the context of COVID is just as clear. The platforms are serving as stand-ins for government authorities, posting public service announcements and links to government guidance – benign and public-minded enough – or taking down calls to action and protest against the lockdowns.”[1]

This year, we will be addressing intersecting issues of critical influence, ranging from disinformation and misinformation about COVID-19, shrinking civic space and attacks on fundamental freedoms.

FreeXP.con4 will take place on a tailored platform, and as always, there will be variety of opportunities to engage and network, and identify compelling opinions, resources, and narratives. We will help facilitate interviews, and highlight opportunities for coverage with our wide range of participants – including human rights defenders, youth, media practitioners and UN representatives.

Subscribe to the FreeXP.con IV rundown, and follow HRonlinePH on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.

Mark your calendars and save the date: 30 November 2020. We can’t wait to see you online and offline.  The HRonlinePH shall abide by the health protocols and government guidelines during the event at all times for enhancing protection of individuals and preventing spread of COVID-19, and by making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of all participants.

Human Rights Online Philippines is an organization that works for the protection and defense of human rights defenders’ right to freedom of expression online. HRonlinePH provides practical support through physical and digital security training, advocacy and campaigning.

FreeXP.con IV including the 10th Human Rights Pinduteros are milestones of the HRonlinePH initiatives with support of the British Embassy Manila under its British Embassy Enabling Funds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdlW9816__k


  • Identify strategic opportunities for combating misinformation and disinformation during the pandemic by providing trusted guidance and resources that helps to counter disinformation; and
  • Plan actions to take advantage of these strategic opportunities to strengthen local protection measures to freedom of expression, specifically develop a strategy to counter efforts to limit the impact of restrictive legislation, including legislation on counter-terrorism as well as restrictions on CSOs, freedom of expression and association.

Target participants:

Human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, youth, digital security practitioners and media in the Philippines

Format online session

  • Shrinking democratic space in the Philippines
  • Human rights defenders’ freedom of expression: facing up to the threat
  • Fact checking
  • Best practices for combatting disinformation and propaganda while still promoting freedom of expression

Expected outcome

The expected outcomes of the conference are:

  • Stakeholders will gain a better understanding of the challenges linked to the protection and promotion of the freedom of expression both online and offline in the context of national scope;
  • Identification of protection measures for human rights defenders, journalists and individuals in claiming their right to freedom of expression; and
  • Freedom of Expression Conference IV Declaration.

[1] David Kaye, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

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