Senators declare war on ‘trolls’

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TWO senators have called on the Department of Education (DepEd) and other stakeholders to join hands in stopping Internet trolls, those netizens who start quarrels and sow discord by posting inflammatory articles or lies online.

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Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th and Leila de Lima believe that concrete action is needed to get rid of these troublemakers who spread misinformation in social media.

De Lima said the mushrooming of fake accounts and manufactured news shows that hackers, fanatics and spammers have abused the freedom of the Internet to foment lies and hatred at the detriment of rational discourse.

She added that respected individuals such as former president Fidel Ramos and actress Agot Isidro have been subjected to malicious misinformation.

De Lima, a critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, said she was herself the object of a malicious misinformation campaign designed to destroy her name and reputation.

The senator cited the “news” about her buying a $6-million (P288 million) mansion in New York. A cursory check at the address of the alleged property showed that the mansion was the Barlow-Pell Mansion Museum, a popular landmark in New York.

“This latest fake news is just one of the many manufactured news and fabricated lies being maliciously peddled around to malign and discredit me. Sadly, truth has become the first casualty,” de Lima said.

The senator noted that any deliberate and malicious attempt to curse, trash, degrade, humiliate and vex people online should not be tolerated.

“In our democratic society, the freedom of speech we all enjoy is not a license to smear the reputation and ruin the credibility of other people. I respect your expression of dissent and even frustration, but I will not tolerate any attempt to denigrate me and much less, to silence our democracy,” de Lima said.

Aquino on the other hand expressed belief that the best way to prevent Internet users, particularly students, from falling victim to trolls and misinformation is to arm them with knowledge and make them responsible “netizens”.

Aquino is the chairman of the Senate committee on education, arts and culture.

During the committee hearing to determine how schools are educating and developing students regarding the responsible use of social media, Aquino said the DepEd should help prevent students from falling prey to trolls by arming them with needed knowledge to fight them.

He said DepEd could conduct a “media literacy week” or “responsible social media use week” to jumpstart the move.

Carlo Ople of Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) said “trolling” is a problem not only in the Philippines but also in the world and the real victims are those who believe in misinformation.

“We need explosive and faster solutions,” Ople said.

Aquino said all stakeholders must work together in creating a society that is more humane and compassionate.

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17 Comments

  1. Trolls are portrayed as aberrational and antithetical to how normal people converse with each other. And that could not be further from the truth .Some people enjoy the kind of trolling that illuminates the gullibility of the powerful and their willingness to respond. It would be smarter to be cautious, because the Media and the Internet’s personality has changed.

    Speaking of TROLLS!. Who originated this? The Aquino’s isn’t it? They must be suffering now by getting the doze of their own medicines.. Isn’t this Media/Troll style what the Philippine yellow Liberal party have been using? As far as I can remember, the yellow father and the yellow mother strategically used this style before and after his assassination, same style they used and ousted the Marcos family, and appointed herself as the president of the Philippines. Unbelievably I could see it did worked !
    and still uses the same strategy to destroy the present administration.
    The yellow’s greediness pushed themselves deeper and deeper to the edge in all angles,anything under the sun just to knock down president Duterte and his administration. Fortunately president Duterte and his Allegiance are so powerful using their Titanium Fists as the stopper..Its a fact…Nobody can put down a good man who has a clean heart, a clean mind, with a clean intention for his people and for his country!..

  2. I don’t like the senators, but, i like the cause, social media or media in general (blah, blah, whatever), should be subjected to a sort of regulation or maybe a bit of restriction to be responsible and truthful, before this nation will become, a country of lairs . . . . i don’t think, there is such a thing called absolute freedom of expression without responsibilities. . .

  3. Emilio Aguinaldo on

    This is very hypocritical. When in fact during election time, it was the Liberal party who was very active in hiring and paying for trolls to mess up the opposition’s social pages. I for one personally know 1 company hired to do this!

  4. Luis Desiderio on

    Eto para sayo DeLima at Aquino. putang ina niyo po !! putang putang ina niyo. Mamamatay na kayong dalawa. Salot kayo sa lipunan. Tang ina niyo di ba kayo nakokonsensya sa mga ginagawa niyo? tang ina niyo sana maubos lahi niyo mga gagong to. pakyu. di nyo mapipigilan ang mga tao sa paghahalungkat ng katotohanan. gusto niyo kasi dun sa mga kontrolado niyong balita e. mga puke kayo. tang ina niyong dalawa suntukan na lang tayo. makita ko lang kayong dalawa sa daan. hamunin ko kayo 1on1. pakyu

    • Chill. D5’s days are numbered & nearing its end. The best we can do is dig more of their “buloks”, investigate, verify, get proofs & witnesses… LET THEM LIVE IN SHAME FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. The same applies to corrupt government officials. Its been a long time they’d been fooling us & made us Filipinos appear stupid in they eyes of other nations.

  5. Delima and Aquino are now afraid of their own ghosts. Both these 2 shithead senators were the ones starting spewing negative propaganda, which they passed on to the PRESSTITUTES to spread worldwide news aimed at destabilizing Pres. Duterte.

    Now, you are reaping what you sow. Good for you. The 16 million DDS (Duterte Diehard Supporters) are just too many to handle, and you can never win against them.

    We hope to see you jailed Delima! As for Aquino, we wish that you would go down the drain, where you and Abnoy actually belong.

  6. Conrad Concepcion on

    Shouldn’t more concern be thrown on yellow journalism? How about paid media? The use of misleading headlines and half-truths on print media and television news?

  7. De Lima and Bam Aquino , so okay lang kung kayo ang manira pero hindi okay kung kayo ang sisiraan , actually ang netizen ay hindi naninira , nakikita at nababasa ang mga katotohanang balita sa senate at congress investigation hindi na kailangang manira dahil sira na kayo noon pa , makapal nga lang talaga ang mga mukha nyo , kayo nga ang gumagawa nang kung ano anong mga paninira sa Presidente mapa talsik nyo lang sya , pero no way mulat an ang mga mata nang netizen wala nang maniniwala sa inyo kahit pa yung mga TROLL na sinasabi nyo alam nang sambayanan na imbento nyo ang troll para sa panibago nyong pansariling layunin , anihin nyo ang inyong tinatanim , mga bayaran nyo ang sinasabi nyong TROLL FAKE ACCOUNT ETC.ETC.ETC. MANAHIMIK NA KAYO CHANGED ARE ALREADY STARTED AND GOING SMOOTHLY , SO MANY ACHIEVEMENT IN JUST 4 MONTHS IN OFFICE WITH OUR WORKAHOLIC PRESIDENT FOR THE GOOD OF FILIPINO PEOPLE

  8. It’s just like TV channels. If you dont want what you’re seeing then change channel. Anong edukasyon pa kailangan mo dun?

  9. They only want to suppress criticism from netizens. They aim to silence dissent. It is highly probable that the fake news about De Lima’s house came from her own camp to justify this call for “war on trolls” and to discredit those who oppose her.

  10. May tama ka talaga di ba kayo nagpasimula nyan di anihin nyo itinanim nyo! Kaya kayo ganyan kasi personal reason….naniniwala agad kasi kung ano nababasa….sobra nga paninira nyo Pres. DU30 kung ano anong plano pinaggagawa nyo para mapababa sya sa pwesto….

  11. Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th and Leila de Lima believe that concrete action is needed to get rid of these troublemakers who spread misinformation in social media. – Are they going to get rid of the troublemakers who spread misinformation in PRESS CONs too? I know someone who always does it just to spear someone’s reputation.

  12. Regardless of the message, no one should stop people from voicing out their opinions. Sowing discord or propagating good news, posting derogatory and negative comments or even constructive criticism, it’s all Vox Populi!

    It’s a shame that an Aquino would push this “war on trolls” when his relatives have fought so vigorously for “democracy”. What happened to that? Any voice they wish to silence is a violation of that very democracy they claim to be so important! Let people be accountable to their maker for words they speak, but declaring a war on trolls is crap and the biggest bullshit of the Filipino century! When it’s the Aquinos or the LP they criticize, people are called trolls. Pwe!

  13. Trolls abound EVERYWHERE ! IGNORE them ! Whatever happened to freedom of the press & freedom of speech ?

  14. Given the problems that the country has like massive poverty, underfunded education system, unreliable city services like electricity, water, garbage pickup, substandard internet, flooding, gridlock, overcrowded prison system, vigilante killings, congressional pork barrel thieves and terrorism just to name a few these senators could find something else to do with their time.