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Philippine 'online missionaries' to hold social media summit reporter, Manila - Thu, Nov 15th 2018

Highlight of event will be awards recognizing best Catholic communicators on social media.Philippine 'online missionaries' to hold social media summit

The annual Catholic Social Media Awards in the Philippines, scheduled on Nov. 17, gives recognition to the country's
"best online evangelizers." (Photo courtesy of CBCP News)

A group of young Catholics calling themselves "online missionaries" will hold a social media summit aimed at discovering "strategies on delivering truth on social media" on Nov. 17.

The highlight of the day-long event, which will mark its sixth year this week, will be the annual Catholic Social Media Awards that recognize the best Catholic communicators on various social media platforms.

Ahead of the event, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, former president of the Philippine bishops' conference, warned of social media's dark side.

"We cannot have social media without God," said the prelate, adding that, "social media without God is destructive."

In his message for the gathering, Archbishop Villegas warned that social media can "divide and mislead" people and result in the "slow death" of values.

He said that while social media is a blessing, without ethics it can spoil human progress and renders development meaningless.

Early this year, Palo Archdiocese in the central Philippines urged young people to use social media responsibly amid reports that Filipinos were spending more time online.

In its "Digital in 2018" report of internet and social media usage, U.S.-based social media company Hootsuite noted that Filipinos spend an average of nine hours and 29 minutes online daily.

Data from the Philippine Information Agency, revealed that 67 million Filipinos out of a 105.7 million population are active social media users.

First held in 2012, the summit's previous speakers include Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Bishop Paul Tighe from the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and Sean Patrick Lovett of Vatican Radio.

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