Fake news is always harmful. But it becomes even deadlier in these uncertain times amid the COVID-19 pandemic. People are now more emotional and spending a lot of time online. Because of this, social media platforms are becoming an even bigger breeding ground for fake news.
One of the biggest factors in the proliferation of fake news is the existence of paid trolls. Troll armies spread fake news to support their clients or discredit the enemies of these benefactors. They even harass ordinary citizens who criticize the politicians they work for.
“I really wish the social media platforms that have given these trolls a platform would step up,” said Tony La Viña, a constitutional expert and former dean of the Ateneo School of Government.
The world has changed, and so have we. To stay relevant, companies must adapt to this shift in consciousness and lifestyles. Now, more than ever, consumers are demanding brand authenticity.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is a tragic event that has cost thousands of lives, it has also caused a shift in our values as a society. It has become an opportunity for us to become better people. For us to work together to build a better post-pandemic world.
“I think because of where we are right now, and we’re being forced into this whole shift, this whole change that’s accelerating a lot of trends, I’m also hopeful that the new status symbol will not be how much you have, but how much you care,” said Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, president of social enterprise Rags2Riches.
This broadcast and online special featured A-listers such as Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John. The goal was to encourage people to stay home, show support for health care workers as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and raise awareness for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO.
Global Citizen has announced that One World: Together at Home has already raised a total of US$127.9 million in commitments. This will provide US$55.1 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and US$72.8 million to local and regional responders.
Need more convincing that it is better to bank from home? The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be a very compelling reason. Filipinos are now shifting to online banking due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that forces them to stay home.
As an all-digital bank, ING Bank is committed to making its services available 24/7. It has also announced it will keep its savings interest rate at 4% per annum until July 31. This will assure ING customers that their money will continue to grow, as sustained savings or for emergency needs.
“The increasing shift to online banking due to the ECQ has given us bigger opportunities to encourage more Filipinos to bank from home the past few weeks,” Hans Sicat, country manager of ING Bank in the Philippines, told Digital Life Asia via e-mail.
A joke is making the rounds on social media. Who led the digital transformation of your company? A) CEO B) CTO C) COVID-19. The encircled letter was C, of course. And, yes, apparently COVID-19 is what it took to convince companies to finally embrace digital transformation to ensure the success of their business in the new normal.
While the pandemic has caught business leaders flatfooted, they have known for years that digital transformation was necessary. So what happened?
“In the weeks since the COVID-19 crisis escalated, there has been one overwhelmingly consistent theme: most leaders now recognize that they weren’t ready. They’ve known for some time that in an era of unprecedented change, speed and agility are needed to transform. In the last decade, particularly in the past two or three years, companies have been under pressure to evolve their business models in response to new sets of behaviors and rapidly shifting dynamics and competitors,” Rossana A. Fajardo, SGV Advisory Services Leader, told Digital Life Asia via email.
While other banks are talking about digital banking, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has said it is already looking ahead and pursuing a phygital banking strategy.
As one of the country’s top banks, BPI has aggressively pushed digitalization. However, it also recognizes that customers require different channels based on their preferences and types of transactions.
“We don’t believe it will be a cold turkey-type scenario where people just switch to digital right away. We believe that in the near term, the success of digital banking will be determined by how you harmonize your digital [channels] with your physical branches. In BPI, we call that phygital,” BPI COO Ramon L. Jocson said in response to my question.
Who knew Ross Geller of “Friends” was a business guru? He made us laugh when he kept yelling “Pivot!” But it turns out that the ability to adapt quickly to changes and pivot your business is an essential skill.
This is even more crucial nowadays. as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggle to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.
“If we were too in love with our original business idea, I doubt we would have pivoted as quickly. You have to be able to step back, assess the situation, and think of how your business can serve in some other way,” said Darwin Mariano, founder and CEO of Ticket2Me, Asia’s first blockchain-enabled online ticketing platform.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to stay home. But that won’t stop millions of climate activists around the world from holding digital climate strikes.
April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and this year Earth Day is going digital. One of these digital initiatives is Earth Day Live. The US Climate Strike Coalition and Stop The Money Pipeline Coalition are organizing this three-day live stream on April 22-24. Earth Day Live will enable millions of people to join activists, celebrities, musicians, and more in the online mobilization.
“The fights against the coronavirus and the climate crisis go hand-in-hand. As we work to flatten the curve of this pandemic, we must strive toward the longer term goal of building a society that is better equipped to confront another global threat: the climate emergency. Earth Day Live is a chance for humanity to come together and begin to collectively reimagine the society, economy, and political system we need to confront the challenges ahead of us,” Nadia Nazar, Co-Executive Director and Art Director of coalition member Zero Hour, said in a press statement.
Remember when gaming laptops looked like alien machines? With flamboyant designs that loudly proclaimed to the whole world that the owner was a hardcore gamer? Nowadays, however, avid gamers are more likely to choose gaming PCs that combine a stylish design for everyday use and savage performance for intense gaming sessions.
“There will always be different horses for different courses, and people will want certain types of designs. There will always be people who like loud designs. But the majority of gamers want something that is sophisticated. That looks like you can bring this anywhere and it will look cool. I’m quite hardcore myself, and I love technology in all its forms. So if you look at my router at home, it’s got a loud design. But the laptop that I bring, given the different scenarios that I often find myself in, I need it to be as sleek and beautiful as possible,” Lenovo Asia Pacific Gaming Lead Ian Tan said in response to a question from Digital Life Asia during the online product launch of the Lenovo Legion 2020 lineup on April 17.
“Because sometimes that also forms other people’s impression of you when you bring it around and use it for meetings. So I think for hardcore gamers, there’s also been an increasing demand for more minimalist designs. There’s a bunch of them who really like very bombastic designs and very loud stuff, and that’s cool. But we cater to the broader market out there which is what we have designed right now and you see that in the Lenovo Legion lineup,” he said.
As businesses struggle amid the COVID-19 pandemic, online sellers will get much needed help through the Lazada Seller Financing program.
Ecommerce giant Lazada and FDFC, the fintech company behind digital credit app BillEase, have launched the financial relief program for micro and small businesses. Lazada sellers can apply for financing and enjoy a digitalized application process via BillEase for Business.
“Lazada’s commitment and key priority during this extraordinary time is to support our sellers and prepare them for when business operations resume,” Lazada Philippines CEO Ray Alimurung said in a press statement.