An endemic has been plaguing Filipino society for while now, frequently making its appearance in facebook walls, twitter feeds, and the reddit scene. This disease to society being the widespread of fake news, slander, and disinformation throughout social media, notably made popular by none other than former Assistant Secretary of the PCOO Mocha Uson. From the beginning of her appointment, Uson has been sending out false information like the time she asked her followers to pray for what seemed to be Filipino Soldiers but were actually policemen from Honduras. Aside from spreading fake news, Uson has made a mockery out of the Presidential Communications Operations Office by posting inappropriate, vulgar and disrespectful videos on her facebook blog such as the infamous “Pepedederalismo” video where her and her co blogger, Drew Olivar, promote the system of Federalism through the means of a vulgar dance and the time she disrespected individuals who are deaf through another facebook video where she and the same co blogger mimic the gestures of deaf individuals communicating through sign language.
But what are we prepared to do about the president’s (former) appointee? The fact that she is even considering to run for the senate is adding even more tension into the air. Last we heard though is that she is running as a party-list representative of the KASOSYO Party-List, advocating for our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). One way to do something about it is to stop giving her attention. Mocha Uson is currently a trending topic in the Internet, with all her idiotic pronouncements in her former government position. She makes headlines by stating her useless reactions towards national issues and emphasizing her blind, undying support to President Rodrigo Duterte. We all know, of course, that such support is the only reason why she was put in an important government position such as Assistant Secretary to the Presidential Communications Operations Office. But let’s face it, Uson as a trend is a threat to all of us. The problem with making fun of her and judging her for the wrongdoings is that it only bring her up to what she wants: to become more popular – to be recognized by anyone. According to Lu (2017), social media platform is the strongest weapon for her to showcase what she wants, especially that it has 49 million Filipinos online, all with the potential to see her live video streaming regardless of what topic she’s sharing. We shouldn’t act as if we’re supporting her by sharing who she is and what she has done and despite how bad it is. We should know by now that trying to falsify and humiliate her has the opposite effect, that is, it boost her fame. As some would say, any publicity is good publicity! Admit it or not, most voters would rather go for someone they know than go for higher standards. Majority of Filipinos would rather rely on a familiar face than to hold faith in someone who advocates change. Being students who are also part of the generation Z- the biggest group of social media consumers – we should recognize that the things we share, especially in social media, do matter. We should critically think about how we can contribute to the betterment of society by not contributing to the crowd, calling themselves the DDS, who shows false admiration to Former PCOO Asec. Mocha Uson. The solution can be long-term if we apply the following STOP guidelines: STOP sharing her memes. Memes are pictures with Mocha’s face with captions written on it or used in a diagram that displays funny strips for entertainment. This causes some who sees it to laugh but also some to find amazement and think that she actually creates a point or displays bravery because some people can be easy as that. The Filipino sense of humor helped President Estrada win the Presidency. Let us learn from that experience.
STOP talking about her. The more people put her name online, the more times we use her a symbol, the bigger possibility she gets out there. People might think that the more she’s talk about, the more significant she is to our society. Moreover, it contributes to her name-recall, which misleads some people into voting for her. STOP humiliating her. Stop, even if it’s difficult. She might deserve it but we can’t. I remember a friend whom I once told of her mistakes and yet rather than agreeing with me, I was told that I was being judgmental. . Why? Because there are people who think she deserves the chance and she only fails at times because she’s only human. Inevitably, it would be followed with the quote: “He who has no sin cast the first stone. ” From all the foregoing, there can only be one conclusion. let’s STOP making actions about Mocha because that would mean we’re actually doing things for her and inadvertently helping her reach her goal to be more widely known.
Aside from these, making use of social media can also be a powerful solution to prevent Mocha and other inexperienced individuals from getting elected. According John Hopkins website, social media sites spread news faster than regular news outlets or other source of information. With the help of different online platforms like Facebook and Twitter, spreading information can be done in a very fast and efficient way. In relation to this, we can create publication materials such as posters and infographics that can educate the viewers about the danger of fake news and the risk of having undeserving officials in our government. Posting these materials online and sharing them to the public can make a difference with the way people think about choosing their candidates. In simple ways like this, we can somehow lessen the chances of having unworthy public officials.
At the end of the day, what young students such as us can do to mitigate the damage that can be caused by influential individuals such as Mocha Uson and other individuals who peddle false information is to not let them be widespread. From the very start, we should not only avoid sharing them, but also encourage our peers to do the same. Attention, be it good or bad can be a powerful tool, especially when it comes to politics in the Philippines. If we want Uson not to make it all the way to the senate, or the House of Representatives, then we must remove her platform to gain attention and more followers, that is, by not giving her attention anymore.
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