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Facebook brings Digital Halo-Halo Hackathon to the Philippines

/ 04:08 PM November 26, 2016

In order to join this Facebook-hosted hackathon, one does need to know how to code. One only needs to have a creative idea.

Together with international event organizer Affinis Labs, the biggest social media platform brings Digital Halo-Halo Hackathon to the Philippines to gather Filipinos in different backgrounds. This is an opportunity for locals to give their own solutions on how to combat irresponsible use of social media in their own country.

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Happening this Saturday night, 25 participants from different parts of the country will make their pitch on how 54 million Filipinos online can be more responsible and respectful digital users, and everyone can join.

The event will be livestreamed on the hackathon website at 6pm. Those who want to see the event up close can register here and get a seat in Acceler8, Makati. Everyone is encouraged to vote for their favorite pitches and decide who should get a free mentorship and a $5,000 grant.

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“Each country has their own unique problems that they encounter so we want these people to empower themselves. There should be enough people that are empowered. This is complete trust in the process,” says Shahed Amanullah, co-founder and CTO of Affinis Labs.

From a pool of 100 applicants, varying from bloggers, social entrepreneurs, artists, and even musicians, 25 will be selected and grouped into groups of five. These teams will be given their own graphic designers and consultants to help them materialize their concepts.

Members of the team will come from different backgrounds and age brackets, and each one having different skill sets is what makes these groupings interesting.

Rollan, a virtual assistant and a project manager with a background in Human Resources, together with his team, is on their way to creating an “IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes” for news articles. By giving credibility ratings, their team hopes to combat fake news and propaganda on social media.

Meanwhile, Leah, a visual ethongrapher and a photographer, wants to make a mobile app that will help Filipinos be more educated about HIV. If successful, her team will be partnering with local government units to further take advantage of the platform.

According to Clair Deevy, Facebook’s head of Economic Growth on Initiatives of Asia Pacific, the Philippines is one of the countries with the most rapid growth of users. Over six years, online Filipinos grew at a rate of 545%, with 91% of its active users on Facebook.

READ: PH ‘most social nation’–report

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Counties like the United States and Thailand have successfully concluded their hackathons, while Indonesia and Bangladesh’s own digital hackathons are already in the works.

Deevy and Amamullah hope that by empowering local users, a more personalized solution will bring about positive changes on how social media is used.

TOPICS: Digital Halo-Halo Hackathon, Facebook, Hackathon, hacking, Social Media
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