Democracy and Disinformation in the Philippines

Tuesday, March 7, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.

  • Yuko Kasuya
Yuko Kasuya seminar

Increasingly, disinformation, a type of fake news with malicious or manipulative intentions, has become common in elections worldwide. However, a few survey-based studies have been conducted to understand how disinformation influences voter attitudes. We address this question in the case of the 2022 Philippine presidential election, where disinformation was rampant during the campaign. Allegedly, various types of disinformation contributed to the victory of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (hereafter BBM). In this project, we focused on the disinformation about BBM’s father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and conducted two survey-based studies. Study 1 examined the association between BBM support and belief in disinformation about Marcos Sr., and we found they were highly correlated. Study 2 tested the direction of causality by an experimental survey. Contrary to our expectations, those exposed to disinformation reduced support for BBM. At the same time, Study 2 showed that fact checks help correct respondents’ evaluation of disinformation. We conclude that although disinformation played a role in the 2022 presidential election, more research is needed to understand how exactly voter behavior and disinformation are related.


Yuko Kasuya
Yuko Kasuya is a Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. Her research interests include regime transition, political institutions, measurement of democracy, Southeast Asia (especially the Philippines), and East Asia (especially Japan). She is the author and/or editor of Decolonization and Regime Change in Asia: Historical Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship (Hakusuisha, in Japanese, 2022), Comparative Politics (Minerva Publishing, in Japanese, 2014) and Presidential Bandwagon: Parties and Party Systems in the Philippines (Anvil, 2008). Her articles can be found in journals such as Electoral Studies, The Pacific Affairs, and Party Politics, among others. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, an M.A. from the Institute of Social Studies (Netherlands), and a B.A. from Keio University. She was a visiting scholar at CDDRL from 2009 to 2010 and Vice President of the International Political Science Association from 2018 to 2021. She currently serves as President of the Japan Association of Comparative Politics and Director of the V-Dem East Asia Regional Center.


Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.