Jul 26, 2017

Vice President Leni Robredo has received thousands of hateful comments. Recently, she helped her daughter Aika gather pre-loved objects for her apartment in US. As expected, her critics and detractors left hate comments about the deed. Despite the frequent bashing she encounters on social media, Robredo still believes that social media should be a platform of hope.

“On social media, there are so many trolls. But is the solution to argue with them? Instead of fighting over harmful things, let us just talk about stories that give inspiration,” Robredo said during the launch a photo gallery under her Istorya ng Pag-asa project in Novaliches.

The VP credits social media for donations Camarines Sur got when she was still a representative and the province was in need. Although the platform is proven powerful, she finds that there are still people who abuse it and use it to spread false information.

Apart from spreading hopeful stories, how can we be better social media users?

Call out those who spread fake news
Early this year, Robredo declared a war against online trolls. “We must challenge ourselves to uphold the truth and its essential place in public discourse. We must be unafraid to debunk falsehoods, to counter fallacies, and to expose frauds who deceive our people so brazenly,” she said.

There are so many ways to determine which posts are fake news now. To begin with, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) made an app that flags links to fake news on Facebook. The design of the site can also serve as an indicator of legitimate news sources.

When you are certain that a news site is spreading fake news, report it and show the person who shared it a piece that tells the right information.

Start a healthy discussion
Go to Facebook and look at the comments section. Instantly, you will find comments that are filled with anger and, at some point, it is just pointless and toxic. While social media users definitely have opposing views, it should not be an excuse to start a thread of vile comments.

You cannot bring a person who opposes your views to your side always. And that should not always be the goal. Instead, we must aim to present our arguments with respect and help them understand where we are coming from.

Be respectful
“The frightening thing is because social media is so powerful, it can be abused. We can see it on Facebook, where there are so many arguments, there are so much defamation, so much cursing. So many names destroyed, even if the allegations aren’t true,” Robredo said.

What she said is true; social media is a dangerous place. While we are always guarded by the black mirrors of our gadgets, engaging in social media discussions can leave psychological and emotional effects to its users. So, we must always be conscious of the words we use and the information we release. As they say, always think before you click.

Istorya ng Pag-asa, which have been already launched in Baguio, Naga City, Quezon City, Pasay City, Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City, aims to overcome toxic arguments with inspirational stories. In August, Robredo will launch the project in Puerto Princesa.

[Via Inquirer.net]

Header image by OVP courtesy of Inquirer.net

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TAGS: Leni Robredo nolisoliph Robredo social media Vice President