Baffling logic: Maria Ressa blames Facebook for the Philippines’ political dysfunction


There is something disturbingly familiar about the way Maria Ressa, CEO of “social news network” Rappler, blames social media giant Facebook for her troubles and even that of the Philippines’. In a recent tweet, Ressa cites the news report, Mark Zuckerberg makes ‘fixing’ Facebook a personal goal for 2018 (which she republished on Rappler) and adds…

[…] #DearMark, please start with the Philippines and emerging democracies

It is a presumptuous tweet where Ressa bizarrely concludes that whatever is supposedly “broken” about Facebook is the cause of the Philippines’ political problems.

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Ressa presumably refers to her pet peeve about Facebook — a platform, one need be reminded, that served as the foundation for the whole being of her “social news network” — implementing an algorithm that, she claims, prioritises for display in its users’ timelines other people’s “fake news” over her “fake news”. She blames this algorithm for supporting the spread of content that influences Filipinos to vote for the “wrong” politicians and be on the “wrong” side of pertinent national issues. More to the point, she blames Facebook for not controlling the armies of “bots” and “trolls” who had all but “weaponised” the Internet against her and Rappler.

Perhaps she is right. Or perhaps not. Filipinos are renowned for habitually blaming external factors for the wretched state of their society. First it was the “evil” colonial and imperialist powers that they blamed for “oppressing” their lot. Then it was the “evil” former President Ferdinand Marcos and his “Martial Law regime” who had impoverished their country. Encompassing all that is how Filipinos see their destinies and fortunes subject to the whims of a vindictive God or the machinations of the Evil One down there himself. Or it could be vast conspiracies being mounted by “evil” capitalist multinational corporations to oppress the lumpenproletariat.

Everyone and everything else is at fault for Filipinos’ impoverishment — except Filipinos themselves, that is. So the Filipino way of thinking goes.

In blaming the new 21st Century God and his religion — Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook respectively — for the Philippines’ troubles Ressa has styled herself as the quintessential 21st Century demagogue. If Ressa had her way, she’d see Filipinos now regarding Facebook and Zuckerberg as the new “Evil One” to revolt against — much the same way as how the Yellowtards put up Marcos as the key antagonist of their “EDSA Revolution”, how the commies put up the “evil Capitalist” and the “US-[insert current president here] Dictatorship” as the all-powerful oppressive forces Filipinos are up against, and, before them, how the Katipuneros put up the Spaniards as the single biggest roadblock to fulfilling a national destiny.

Ressa conveniently forgets, however, that way before Facebook was even a twinkle in Zuckerberg’s eye, Filipinos were already getting behind the wrong politicians and betting on the wrong arguments in the “national debate”. Back in 2000 (before the term “social media” even existed) an “admired Filipino economist, based in New York” wrote about the Philippine National “Debate” which she described as “droll and unintelligent, focused on the trivial or the irrelevant.”

When the issues are of some significance, it’s the wrong arguments that prevail, the wrong side wins. Logic and common sense take the backseat to political arguments and the views of the poorly-educated.

In short, even before Facebook was revealed as the “Evil One” by Ressa’s demented mind, the roots of the Philippines’ political dysfunction were already deeply-embedded in Philippine society: lack of common sense, highly-politicised discourse, and a poorly-educated electorate.

Indeed, to this day, many Filipinos still do not understand the role their “democracy” plays in putting accountability for the fortunes of a country squarely upon the shoulders of the Filipino Voter. For example, one “online activist” pompusly proclaimed that “We need a mechanism against Trapos (“traditional politicians”) like you,” which she directed to embattled Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. This “activist”, it seems, forgot that such a “mechanism against trapos” is currently in place. It’s called national elections.

Filipinos, in effect, already have all the needed tools to influence how their government works and serves. They just lack the skills and the intellect to use these tools properly. Social media is one such tool. But if we were to subscribe to Ressa’s logic, faulty carpentry can be blamed on the hammer and not on the carpenter.

8 Replies to “Baffling logic: Maria Ressa blames Facebook for the Philippines’ political dysfunction”

  1. So, it is Zuckerberg’s FaceBook fault, according to the idiot, Maria Reesa. Those wicked internet trolls and vicious bloggers, should be controlled by Zuckerberg, because most of them are telling the Truth, on how the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, plundered the country. Truth is their weapon. It must be controlled by Zuckerberg, to fit the Aquino Cojuangco political axis political agenda for them to perpetuate their power.

    Blame anything and everybody, because your is going bankrupt. And, you are pandering for money, to save it from closing. ABS-CBN , I think is also nearing bankruptcy.
    The Hacienda Luisita is being subdivided by its farmer tillers.

    Leni Robredo’s position as Fake Vice President – their hope to replace Pres. Duterte, as President, did not materialize. The sham EJK impeachment proceedings in the Senate, was not successful. Leila de Lima, the drug dealer and nymphomaniac is in jail for life. The Trililing Trillanes, the dude with one “bayag” has a problem with his DAP and PDAF, with no projects. He stole and pocketed the taxpayers’ money.

    Everything went wrong, for them, on Plan A , Plan B and Plan C.Those wicked internet trolls and malicious bloggers foiled their plans to grab power…EDSA spirit has departed from the ignorant Filipino people . They no longer listen to their : cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, and the powerful Roman Catholic Church. The U.S. / C.I.A., is nowhere to be found , to drive away Pres. Duterte, in Malacanang Palace.

    It is convenient now, to blame anything and anybody , especially those wicked internet trolls and bloggers for their evilness. Blame is a good tool to cover your Stupidity !

  2. Some people have a better mind and a more rigorous temperament than others; they think logically, and then act on the conclusion of logical thought. Whereas most people, do the opposite: they make an instinctive decision, then build up an infrastructure of reasoning to justify it. And call the result common sense.

  3. Zuckerberg there does not care about inconsequential Philippine politics, he knows Filipinos are addicted to his website, and Maria Ressa should learn from her buddies in the states, where special interests groups from the Left can force Facebook to fight “Fake News” against people who disagree with them, better pony up the cash Ressa or whatever happened to your End Year crowdfunding?

  4. Ressa just borrows from the Boy Sisi playbook. “Hey, I can do nothing wrong, so it has to be someone else’s fault!”

  5. Instead of blaming FACEBOOK…Maria Ressa should blame herself for refusing to see and publishing the visible good accomplishments of the present administration in such a SHORT TIME , in comparison to that of Noynoy Aquino III ‘s in his 6 long years of Presidency.

    The Facebook Bloggers, all over the World, have their own INDEPENDENT MINDS and NOT BEING DICTATED BY FACEBOOK ON WHAT TO SAY !!!

  6. FILIPINO LOGIC IS NOT LOGICAL, Filipino’s suffer from the mosy idiotic form of thinking I have ever seen exhibited by a people. say something and the Filipino will use the statement as a conclusion in an un-related deductive argument of that Filipino’s choosing………it is beyond bizarre !

  7. The truth of the matter is … because of FACEBOOK and other means of modern communications , the BIAS REPORTING & the LIES of Maria Ressa and her YELLOW SUPPORTERS are now bared for everyone to see .

    Gone were the days when majority of the Filipino people were deceived by the lies of the Mainstream Media where Maria Ressa belong .

    Through Facebook … people know now what is truly happening in the country and are able to express freely what they have in their minds .

    Thank you FACEBOOK .

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