Maria Ressa: War on Truth

In an era of disinformation, the CEO of Rappler takes on forces that she believes are undermining world democracies.

It is the battle of our age.

Facebook and other social media giants are being manipulated by governments and corporations, weakening democracies.

No country epitomises the consequences of this battle more so than the Philippines.

And no individual personifies the struggle against it more so than Maria Ressa.

Maria is the editor of Rappler, a digital news outlet that flourished under Facebook, and she now says is being crushed by it as the government uses it to shut down its critics.

She runs what she calls the “shark tank”, one of the largest independent databases of Facebook accounts and comments that is tracking 15 million accounts propagating disinformation on social media and that are used to control debate globally.

While she lobbies for social media giants to become more accountable abroad, she is facing legal battles at home, with her government trying to jail her, shut her outlet down and silence dissent.

We follow Maria while she fights at the front lines of what she calls the war on truth and to prevent democracies from failing not only in her country but also worldwide.

Credits: Yaara Bou Melhem – Director/ Producer; Georgia Quinn – Associate Producer; Gretchen Malalad – Fixer (Manila); Francisco Forbes – Editor; Ben Emery – DOP (Manila); Benjamin Croce – DOP (Paris); Perish Factory – Animation; Leo Dolgan – Sound Design; Luis Calvo – Colour Grade

Maria Ressa was given TIME Magazine's Person of the Year award as a 'guardian in the war on truth' [Georgia Quinn/Al Jazeera]
Maria Ressa was given TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year award as a ‘guardian in the war on truth’ [Georgia Quinn/Al Jazeera]