“He it is Who made the sun a shining brightness, and the moon a light, and ordained for it stages that you might know the computation of years and the reckoning. Allah created not this but with truth. He makes the signs manifest for a people who know. Surely in the variation of the night and the day, and that which Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, there are signs for a people who keep their duty.” - Qur'an 10:5-6
IT STARTED with the kissing scene of President Rodrigo Duterte with a woman in Seoul, South Korea.
That controversy was followed up by a video of Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson of Presidential Communications Operations Office by uploading a vintage video of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Sr. being kissed by two women minutes before his assassination. Ninoy’s daughter, Kris Aquino, took offense and Mocha was unapologetic.
It was loud enough to create a news about this whole narrative. But it was louder in the social media arena.
In the middle of the feud, series of “sideline” stories in a form of memes, unearthed vintage videos, and propaganda stories resurfaced and went on the rounds in social media. These were shared by dubious personalities and even legitimate users who seem to bite the story’s hook, line, and sinker.
Meanwhile, in the local political scenes, political talks and information sharing by dubious social media accounts have started to become active again, this time, doubling its efforts. For the record, they were never went inactive in the past six years. But observing the messaging patterns, different accounts seem like to speak the same voice.
Alas, the 2019 elections have begun. Facebook, once again, is the battlefront of it all.
Facebook remains to be the social media platform that’s been utilized by a majority of Filipinos. Unlike Twitter and Instagram, Facebook is where different age demographics meet, thus, a perfect channel to convey strategic messages to influence millions of users in the Philippines.
There are still fake news materials, but it seems creators of disinformation have also learned and improved their game. They are now using legitimate information and facts, but only to twist them in order to fit their narratives. This is more dangerous than outright lies created by fake news articles, because these are “better” lies that also dehumanize one’s realistic dimensions.
Many times we are told to be vigilant. But more than becoming vigilant, is to be wary of the information being shared and preached - we do so by improving our skills to do researching. Again, in a time of vast information being transmitted to our consciousness, depending to one source is never enough. It is important that we also look at different sources so we would know what are the things that are consistent of each information we receive.
And that is why, we raise the bar in researching, verifying, and cross-checking.