The Filipino people need to put their collective foot down and take the social media “troll” narrative back into the level playing field of the broader public discourse. At the moment, the “woke” members of the Opposition, particularly the most rabid bloc within it loyal to the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan (a.k.a. the Yellowtards), presume to be the sole judge of who is a “troll” or what a “troll” is. They exercise their self-appointment as judges in a Yellowtard court they set up with their liberal Mainstream Media allies to both rule on and bear down on those they summarily deem to be “trolls”.
Manila Times columnist and self-appointed “social media expert” Noemi Dado so succinctly encapsulates this arrogant and presumptuous position Yellowtardom takes on “troll” politics here…
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“Trolls [and] supporters [of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte] are mostly reactive to the organic display of criticism,” said Noemi Dado, a blogger and member of the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation. “Duterte is supposed to have a high satisfaction rating… so the trolls must make it look like Duterte is loved.”
…that it was used as a key reference in the now-infamous dishonest Washington Post “report” authored by its Manila correspondent Regine Cabato which I featured in a previous article.
Cabato’s public dishonesty stems from her attempt to mislead people into thinking that the main criteria used by Twitter to suspend users is their support for the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. This is evident in the title of said piece, “Twitter suspends accounts defending Philippine government response to coronavirus pandemic”.
Totally dishonest indeed. Twitter, like many other large social media platforms, apply generally consistent sets of guidelines to ensure “community standards” are adhered to but don’t include any sort of partisan affiliation as criteria for determining violations. Thus, to claim that Twitter singles out “accounts defending Philippine government response to coronavirus pandemic” is absolutely unfounded.
Cabato’s behaviour when challenged to clarify the sloppy journalism she subjects her readers to is also typical of the arrogance “woke” Opposition partisans contribute to the national discourse. Cabato says she finds it “troubling when the people who advise our politicians’ campaigns are informed by Get Real PH instead of news organizations.” This is a bit sad coming from a Washington Post “reporter” seeing how a person employed by an enterprise within a declining industry struggles to defend it. Indeed, “news organisations” aren’t exactly enjoying their heyday as far as people’s trust goes nowadays. “Journalists” are seriously overdue for a bit of reflection seeing how practitioners such as Cabato routinely make assertions they are woefully unable to back with verifiable specifics.
In the end, the only recourse “woke” people like Cabato habitually take is to silence people who dissent.
Ironic, right? More so considering that Cabato describes herself in her Twitter profile as a “tough cookie” who “blooms in adversity”.
Double unfortunate is how “woke” journalism pulls down into the abyss it is falling into erstwhile noble liberal Western concepts such as “human rights”. No less than Filipino “human rights” guru himself, the eminent Carlos Conde, weighed in on the Cabato imbroglio tweeting that, “[if] you are a journalist and you get attacked by the morons over at Get Real PH, that means you are doing your job.”
Let’s examine more closely Conde’s logic, which basically goes like this…
IF you get “attacked” by GRP;
THEN “you are doing your job”
Scratch that. The above is an insult to the very notion of logic. Conde fails at the most basic principle of intelligent conversation — establishing a sound premise to frame one’s argument. Conde builds his entire argument upon two lame pillars: (1) that Cabato was “attacked” by GRP and (2) that Cabato was “doing her job”. Firstly, Conde has so far failed to exhibit any evidence that such an attack transpired and continues to fail to produce such despite several challenges to step up and do so. And then there is the idea that Regine Cabato was “doing her job”. Perhaps she was. The question is what defines said “job”? Was it a job as a true journalist in the honourable sense of the profession, or a job as lackey of the owners of the very chi chi but increasingly irrelevant Washington Post?
Dialling back to what defines a real troll, it seems that self-proclaimed “thought leaders” like “social media expert” Noemi Dado, Washington Post “reporter” Regine Cabato, and “human rights activist” Carlos Conde are the ones who exhibit the very trollish behaviour they presume to rail about. They issue assertions they are unable to substantiate specially when challenged to do so, make liberal use of credentials to demand that their arguments be deferred to, defend their hollow assertions using medieval reasoning, and silence dissent when challenged to respond.
It is high time Filipinos open their eyes to the blatant insult to their intelligence these people dishonestly institutionalise as “thought leadership” and “journalism”. It’s time Filipinos take back their public political discourse and take to task those who seek to pervert it towards their insidious agendas.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.