Nobody really knows at this point. But one thing’s for sure, the messaging and dissemination machinery backing its spread is awesome and well-orchestrated; so much so that even as early as the build-up period leading to its release on the anonymous website Collective.com.ph in its now-famous post DECEPTION The Shocking Truth Behind Leni and Jesse Robredo Part 1, the hasthag had already “trended” on social media. As of this writing the Facebook page We Are Collective had already amassed a more than 140,000 user following.
The key message of this exposé is around how current Philippine “vice president” Leni Robredo’s political brand is “built mostly on lies” and that she and her late husband Jesse Robredo are no more than the same sort of “traditional politicians” or trapos that the Philippine general public detest. The account of the Robredos’ deception was seemingly written by a native of Robredo’s home town in Naga City, Bicol. In her post, she proposes to provide an “alternate history” of the Robredos, ” the version which is not known.” Nonetheless, the author challenges readers to “fact check every single thing”.
Therein, without going into the detail of this lengthy exposé, is the crux of this latest social media spectacle. This being a social media phenomenon, it is important that consumers of the information presented take personal responsibility for making their own conclusion as to whether or not material they find on the Internet is legit.
Why is such an obvious principle worth reiterating? Simple, because the Philippines chatteratti are reknowned for the lazy and sloppy thinking they apply to validating what is right or wrong. Rather than doing the research, they rely instead on the “endorsements” of one celebrity or high-profile personality or the other. This is the reason “fake news” proliferates. It is not because of “sinister forces” but rather the emergent collective effect of a vast non-thinking social media user base that accounts for the spread of “misinformation” over social media.
On that, we then look into the typical way with which “vice president” Leni Robredo now responds to the #NagaLeaks explosion…
The Office of the Vice President has yet to comment on the matter, but Robredo in a speech in Cebu criticized the spread of “misinformation” online.
“Today, it seems that truth and accuracy are no longer relevant. We are occupying what they call a post-truth world,” she said.
“Some of those who wish to attack my integrity and character began a campaign to spread lies… Their attacks are vicious; not even my children are immune to their assault,” she added.
Supporters of the Vice President dismissed the article, noting the lack of proof to back up the allegations.
The average Robredo supporter will likely take her word for it — that the “shocking truth” about Leni laid out in the We Are Collective site is no more than a collection of “lies” and leave it at that. Because Leni said so.
Doing so does not change the outstanding challenge of its author.
Fact check every single thing.
It remains to be seen whether or not Robredo’s camp and the broader Yellowtard community surrounding her are up to that challenge.[Image source pre-recolouring: Collective.com.ph.]
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