A desperate Maria Ressa blames Facebook for Rappler’s inevitable demise

Maria Ressa, CEO of “social news site” Rappler has gone too far. Rather than own up to her failure to build a credible news media organisation that could compete in the free market of ideas, she, instead, takes it upon herself to appoint Facebook as “the new gatekeeper to information” and then proceed to accuse the social media giant for failing to “moderate its greed” and step up to that role.

MSNBC has become the latest Western media organisation to air Ressa’s monumental tantrum over how social media is conspiring against the “goodness” of Rappler and everything she stands for. It has backward-engineered a story from Ressa’s dubious premise and populated it with the usual cast of villains: armies of “bots” and paid “trolls” producing and propagating “fake news” commanded by an “authoritarian” leader. It is an all-too-familiar and overused plot of late — perhaps the only narrative in the dwindling ideological arsenal of the Philippine Opposition. But the same message delivered by a Western media outlet makes that message far more potent to Filipinos thanks to their renowned colonial mentality.

Ressa and her cohorts in MSNBC would like people to believe that Facebook heralded the dawn of mass hypnosis in aid of political agendas. They accuse Faceook of, of all things, “undermining democracy”. What they fail to note is that this has long been a practice by mainstream media long before Facebook was even a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. Back in 1998, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew already cited the role media played in undermining democracy.

According to Lee, “a wieldy partisan press helped Filipino politicians to flood the market place of ideas with junk”. Apparently, the Philippine press before Martial Law enjoyed all the freedom but failed the Filipino people. Lee added that the Philippine press “confused and befuddled the Filipino people so they could not see what their vital interests were in a developing country. And because basic issues like economic growth and equitable distribution was seldom discussed and were not tackled, the democratic system malfunctioned.”

In short, Ressa and that MSNBC bozo in that video are wrong and Mark Zuckerberg is right. Facebook is just a platform upon which any kind of information — including “fake news” — is easily spread. Indeed, Facebook is democracy in its purest form because on Facebook, what is popular wins. Mainstream media, on the other hand, is not a platform in the same sense that Facebook is. Mainstream media content is produced and priortised by human editors. At their heyday, mainstream news media editors and publishers were amongst the most powerful men and women in the world because of this responsibility. Human editors then and now in mainstream media arbitrarily decided — on the basis of their personal judgement — what is and what isn’t news. In contrast, Facebook only uses a disinterested machine — its much misunderstood (and, thus, feared) newsfeed algorithm to vet what is relevant to its users.

In short, the human editors-in-chief of the New York Times and the Inquirer are directly accountable for what appears in their publications’ front pages. Zuckerberg, on the other hand, cannot be held directly accountable for what appears on our Facebook newsfeeds. It is we who are accountable for what appears on our Facebook newsfeeds — because what appears on our newsfeeds is based on what we “Like” and “Share”.

The short of it is that Facebook is not to blame for the spread of “fake news” because it is the producers of fake news and the users who spread it by thoughtlessly clicking on the “Like” and “Share” buttons who are really to blame for its spread.

The trouble with Liberals like Ressa and the mainstream media of the United States and that of the Philippines is that rather than blame the weak character of the average Facebook user for the spread of disinformation, they’d rather blame Facebook itself. That’s like blaming the hammer for the shoddy work of the carpenter who wields it.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte did not win because of social media “bots” and “trolls” spreading “fake news”. He continues to enjoy a high approval rating after almost two years in power, something that would have been impossible to achieve if he had been governing on a platform of lies. Filipinos should be given a bit more credit. They would have seen through a government of lies within months of its ascent to power.

We can also thank the Philippine Opposition itself for being focused on taking ineffectual low-level tactical potshots against Duterte’s government and, over that same period since the May 2016 elections, utterly failing to present a coherent alternative strategic path to Duterte’s. For a democracy to work, there needs to be a competent Opposition. Unfortunately, the Philippine Opposition has yet to purge its ranks of its Liberal Party infestation which continues to hobble it with its obsolete 1980s-vintage victim mentality and hero-worship ideology.

Maria Ressa needs to face the truth about her predicament and her failure to lead Rappler to success. Facebook did not cause Rappler to fail and did not cause Duterte to win. In a free market, users and eyeballs who are free to visit — and leave — websites determine which sites win and lose. And, in a democracy, voters determine who wins and loses. It’s really that simple. There are no conspiracies here. Only crybabies.

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25 Comments on “A desperate Maria Ressa blames Facebook for Rappler’s inevitable demise”

  1. Why were they called the Liberal party again? (Yeah, it’s were, past tense, because they stopped being liberal a long time ago.)

    1. The same reason that dictatorships put labels on themselves like “People’s Republic” or Democratic State of X”.

      You can’t expect the Liberals to call themselves “intolerant and anti-liberal” do you?

  2. Maria Reesa failed in her Rappler.com venture. She does not accept the responsibilities of her failure. So, she is trying to look for somebody, to blame for her failure. Okay, Ms. Reesa, It must be those wicked internet trolls and malicious bloggers. Who blogged with pen names, and are faceless.

    The truth , Ms. Reesa, is you cannot fight and defeat, what you cannot see. You cannot stop, what you don’t know. Facebook is only one of your problems. Get Real Philippines blog site is your problem also. They are full of bloggers, trolls and paid hackers. BenignO, the GRP WebMaster is one problem, also. He allowed those not certified bloggers and trolls, to blog on his Website. Other Websites, that compete with your Rappler.com are problems, indeed.

    What else can we blame ? The inventor of the internet. The developer of Website blogging. The advent of Information Technology, that made ignorant Filipino people, become well informed.
    Maybe, the weather, is to be blamed.

    Don’t blame your stupidity on yourself, look for “Escape Goats” . What an idiot!

  3. People are now connected, the world has shrunk. With people having unlimited sources of information and a platform like facebook, news spread like wildfire including fake ones. It is so easy to validate a news fake or not. If Risa’s claim is true and if rappler is a credible news outfit, you would wonder why the heck does rappler and maria risa’s popularity is a thing in the past and has gotten worse? It is because they do not deliver what the Filipinos want to hear! Filipinos do not patronize fake news such as rappler and risa. They are fake and they do not have the best interest of the filipinos… Rappler only cares about LPs who are hiding a lot of skeletons in the closet. Even after Duterte’s term rappler does not have a chance to bounce back. We are all thankful to facebook for allowing filipinos to connect and unite. We support our country and we support our president! ????????????????????????

  4. MSNBC hmmp not all about money huh!
    Duterte even got hammered for fucking cursing the Pope…. how the fuck did you get that info about him being endorsed by the Pope?
    You must be kiddng? If Facebook news feed is against you, facebook is bad? Before you can simply published info in your favor or to the favor of your contributir and use some influencers to talk about it so it will be trending a news according to mainstream media.
    Now people knew what is the importance of freedom on information, the readers can tell the difference between money and good service.

  5. WTF…WE ARE NOT FAKE AND WE ARE DOING THIS INDIVIDUAL FOR OUR PRESIDENT. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? RESSA IS THE FAKE WOMAN.SHE LEFT ABS CBN BECAUSE SHE FUCKED UP WHEN A REPORTER WAS KIDNAPPED. ND GLORIFIED HER NAME BY WRITING A FAKE BOOK. THE FAKE ACCOUNTS ARE FROM OPPOSITIONS NOT SUPPORTERS OF THE PRESIDENT. I HATE YOU AND YOUR WRITERS…YOU ARE ALL FAKE.IDIOTS.

  6. What better way to put “fake news, Facebook and Duterte” together on the international media spotlight than through Rappler. It’s another stunt similar to the Jover Laurio vs Duterte “trolls” on BBC. it seems part of a calculated string/series of events. And yeah, fake news is now the new conspiracy when you want something dismissed.

  7. talking about greed. Who’s been conducting fund raising on their website? Maria Ressa has been trying the best that she could to regain her voice so they can earn popularity and sponsorhip back. What the hell MSNBC, how stupid could the news producers be by coming up some major bullshit out of a petty case of social media trolls? regardless you are pro or anti duterte, you come across a huge number of trolls supporting one of these ends. Indeed there were trolls who profited from clickbaits and fake news (like rappler does professionally) but what is their proof to directly link the fake news sources with the current ph government? everything is just a speculation by this twat presenter, who is so ignorant to speak about what’s been going on in the PH and across Filipino netizens. This is basically saying that Filipinos are stupid to believe everything that they read on fb. Can’t these americans just face the fact that the Filipino people wanted a change and that the traditional political style that the finest of the pretentious leaders practice no longer work? It is just the same as how the Americans felt when they voted for trump, they believed that he was going to make america great again, not because of some stupid and obvious fake sites/fake news, but it’s because the people were willingly risking their country’s future to a non-traditional politician.. it is sad. but people have lost faith political correctness and what not.

  8. It’s sickening to listen to this reporter. We filipinos vents out our anger to the former government using facebook. Don’t manipulate the news. I pity the country who is under this news agency.

  9. RE: MSNBC video. This is misinformation so wrong as a journalist in the mainstream news. You should do your research as real journalist do. Supporters of Duterte are not fake accounts. We are real people. It’s the rappler and anti government are behind these fake accounts fake news. MSNBC YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOUR REPORTING. Do research, survey and all and then you realize what wrong information you got. Unless you are paid, then you are one of these fake news maker.

  10. Maria Ressa is sore at the fact that millions of Filipinos do not believe her and her ilk anymore. And just like her cohorts in the yellow wagon, she goes to international fora in an attempt to reclaim what she thinks should be “their” platform, trying to cast millions of Filipino facebook users aside like we do not have any right to use social media and thus branding us who are supporting Duterte as trolls and bots. (Hey! We are using our personal accounts with our pictures pasted in our profiles as against the real trolls in the yellow side whose accounts were just constituted before the elections, with profile pics that don’t show their faces, and a profile that’s bereft of personal info and contains a photo gallery of inanimate objects only).
    These international journalists do investigative work on the Filipino people without even coming here to the Philippines to see how things are for themselves. So they depend on hearsay via Maria Ressa who is a purveyor of fake news herself. Which makes these international journalists purveyors of fake news too!
    And you say that it is not about money? I can claim that for myself and a lot of Duterte’s supporters who spent their own money to campaign for him.
    But for Ressa, this is a bussiness. She is making a living out of this. And her company Rappler is not realizing enough profit to justify to her foreign investors!
    The content of this program is so fake news!

  11. Probably “journalists” of this kind are hung up on their interpretation of the “fourth estate,” idea that journalism as a fourth estate is like a branch of government. So they believe, as a branch of government, they should have authority and determine what people should think. But that’s what makes them corrupt. Perhaps it’s time to pick on this “fourth estate” idea and chop it up.

  12. For quite some time now western mainstream media has been creating ways to get some of their power back by hindering and damaging this new form of media they can’t control anymore. Even the recent drama with PewDiePie, YT’s Adpocalypse, “Sexism” in Video Games and so on was propagated and blown out of proportion by mainstream media in an effort to destroy their competition. She’s only following in their footsteps by mudslinging anyone she can blame for her failure to deliver what the people want.

    It’s pathetic really, at least western mainstream media actually managed to do some real damage with their actions. Right now it seems to me she’s just clutching at straws and throwing a very public temper tantrum for her own failures. In a way, she herself has become nothing more than a troll now, spreading hate and negativity about this platform she can’t even begin to understand. She wants to be treated like a real professional journalist but can’t even take responsibility for her own actions.

    Btw I’m not saying there are no fake news, there are plenty from all sides. But that video is just so obviously anti Duterte and Trump even a toddler can point it out. Maybe more people would love to go back to listening to mainstream media if they don’t sound like obvious propaganda. Just a thought!

  13. Yea moderate the greed. Leave some crumbs for the paupers. The media giants of today didn’t know what hit them.

    Recall Nokia’s CEO ending his speech saying this “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”.

    Ressa’s business model simply can’t go head-to-head with Facebook’s. Find a newer model. And if you can’t – just take Bug’s Bunny’s nemesis’ advise: If you can’t beat em, join em.

  14. Facebook banned my ‘political commentary’ account on the ground that I wasn’t using my real name. I personally felt like my freedom of expression was being “stifled” right then and there. Yes, a lot of my posts were pro-administration. With an experience like that, I can’t help but feel like Ressa shouldn’t be blaming Facebook at all, since according to my experience, they are on the same side.

  15. Well, it’s her bloated hubris and ego that got her to where she is now. Remember “ Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.”

  16. Ressa is propaganda puppet of the corrupt liberal party.

    92% of the filipinos are now smart enough to know which is the truth.

    #notoliberalparty
    #notooligarchs

  17. I like the way you write although, I get irritated coming across commas and periods written after the closed quotes. Sorry, I am a product of old school that has rammed these reminders through our heads in English classes: ,” .” And of course, edit before you hit that send or post button. Here’s to more relevant and factual blogs!

    1. Thanks. I’m aware of those punctuation rules. However, some of the quotes don’t end in a period at the original source. So including the period within the quoted area seems to me to be improper.

  18. Why do women waste their time trying to convince their insecure family members and girlfriends that they are beautiful? Self esteem is not a beauty cream that you can rub all over them and see instant results. Instead, convince them they are not stupid. Every intelligent woman knows outward beauty is a nip, tuck, chemical peel or diet away. If you don’t like it, fix it.

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