[Cebu City] June 08, 2022— The Carnegie Corporation of New York has named Filipino professor Jonathan Corpus Ong a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow for his study on troll farms and disinformation efforts on the internet.
Ong is a global digital media professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and one of this year’s awardees of the annual fellowship program, which awards grants to social science and humanities academics.
He is one of the 28 exceptional scholars, journalists, and authors awarded $200,000 stipends in recognition of their efforts.
During his interview with CNN Philippines’ Rico Hizon last April 27, 2022, he highlighted the importance of today’s urgent fight against online disinformation.
“This is such an urgent problem for us and this started in 2016. I really wanted to interview the people in troll operations, who are they, and how were they recruited into this kind of work. I think we have done a lot in terms of unmasking, you know, low-level operators. But we really need to see this as a thriving and booming industry in the Philippines and we need to draw a lot more attention to it,” Jonathan Corpus Ong told CNN Philippines in an interview.
Ong said that many of the “paid trolls” who operate on social media take on the task of spreading disinformation as “side gigs.”
His work discloses the truth behind troll farms and online disinformation campaigns.
Ong co-authored several studies on the subject, such as “Architects of Networked Disinformation: Behind the Scenes of Troll Accounts and Fake News Production in the Philippines” and “Politics and Profit in the Fake News Factory.”
He has also recently co-authored a Harvard Kennedy School report “Human Rights in Survival Mode: Rebuilding Trust and Supporting Digital Workers in the Philippines,” which talks about the downturn of human rights in the Philippines during the Duterte administration.