Any investigation on gov’t “troll farms” should also include an inquiry into the dishonest practice of “journalism” by mainstream media

Joel Ruiz Butuyan in his Inquirer piece “The defeat of the trolls” writes of “strong suspicion that the current government employs so-called troll farms.”

The ongoing Senate investigation has uncovered that the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) pays 1,479 “contract of service employees.” There’s a strong feeling that these are trolls hired by the government, so the Senate is absolutely on the right track by asking the PCOO to submit their addresses, educational attainment, daily time record, and job description.

Martin Andanar has never been the sharpest tool in the comms toolbox of the government. Five years and he hasn’t achieved much improvement in government communications. But the Senators should also haul mainstream media to the Senate for an investigation into violations of the basic tenets of journalism. Mainstream media is biased against the administration. It seldom happens that you’re able to read anything that leaves the reader to form an opinion. It’s made for the reader. Their reporters and anchors are the same. The environment is simulated to go back in time as if we’re under a dictatorship when in fact, we’re not.

Despite her best efforts, Maria Ressa has only been able to fool her Western colleagues about her fight for “freedom”. She hasn’t directly made a statement about the corporate structure of Rappler and why it is fortunate enough to receive grants from American non-government organisations (NGOs) that are known CIA fronts. No self-respecting journalist has bothered with an in-depth report on Rappler‘s finances; primarily how it has been able to continue operations while incurring losses. Its stockholders don’t seem to run out of cash to infuse in this “social news network”.

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While they’re at it, the Senators should also invite Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files, another recipient of grants from the same NGOs that Rappler has received monies from. By law they should register as foreign agents. No one knows if they’ve complied with this requirement. The Opposition will never admit it but they also operate troll farms. You just need to check the accounts on Twitter with limited followers that get retweeted hundreds if not thousands of times. Our Senators should also be aware of bots. Nowadays you can build bots using readily-available software. They’re designed to perform single or multiple functions. They were primarily deployed by the Opposition for mass reporting of pro-Administration Facebook accounts and pages. The pro-Opposition trolls also took down the Mocha Uson network. That was really a for profit operation using the pay-per-click model. All that showed that the number of likes or followers of a page does not necessarily convert into votes. The then PCOO Assistant Secretary failed to land a party-list seat in Congress.

The problem with the Opposition in the Senate is their hypocritical stand on issues. The ongoing circus with Pharmally is an example of how not to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation. Mainstream media just goes along because we now have “journalist-activists” in our midst. They are not objective but subjective. They campaign against the government on social media with their personal accounts. This bastardizes the system because the so-called fourth estate is supposed to be the moderator between government and the public. What they don’t realize is this can also backfire. The public takes sides on the same bases. Those who see through the deception gravitate towards the administration. Those whose biases are confirmed go for the opposition. The lack of an issues-based discussion leaves the public at a disadvantage because it opens them up to exploitation by unscrupulous politicians.

It is, however, obvious to the public who the enemies are. You have the liberal-leftist-militant cabal in politics and media which continue to spew propaganda. It is for this reason that they cannot win elections anymore. Butuyan would like to think that they have the advantage going into 2022 with majority of the voting population between 21-45. He writes…

There’s a whiff of the spirit of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution in the air with the crescendo of dissent in all social media platforms. If the youth ride the tide of dissent that’s fast gaining strength in cyberspace, they may yet have their generation’s peaceful revolution come May 2022.

We have seen how voters interest in the election is high. They have gone out of their way and put up with the difficulties of registering to vote for the first time or activating their voter registrations even if they have to wait for long hours in line. No surprise because we’re at a crossroads again because of the pandemic. The opposition should at least have the decency to accept the people’s judgment if they lose on May 2022. We’ve seen how they can be sore losers since the time of former Presidents Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) and most recently with Duterte in 2016. Perhaps we should get it down in writing that if they lose, they will stop with their destabilization efforts and work towards nation-building with whoever who is elected.

One Reply to “Any investigation on gov’t “troll farms” should also include an inquiry into the dishonest practice of “journalism” by mainstream media”

  1. All journalism students should take a PRC licensure exam, no PRC license, no work. Any shenanigans with a PRC licensed journalists should be investigated by the PRC and found gulty, should be blacklisted in ANY work related to journalism.

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