The wrong in #HindiTama

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ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

GMA News Online recently launched the #HindiTama project to respond to the proliferation of fake news articles and memes which allegedly undermine the power of social media, and turn it into a tool for disinformation instead of enlightenment.

There is no way one can misinterpret the intent of the project. It is to exorcise social media of the fakery and misinformation. And it has an element of crowd sourcing by asking netizens to report and mark offending stories, posts and memes.

And this is where the intent to make things right could end up being so wrong.

Just a few weeks ago, the campaign to take back the Internet made some noise. The campaign was also reacting to the same phenomenon of social media going out of control and being taken over by trolls and fakers.


Traditional media is in panic mode, and it is not entirely because the sanctity of journalism is compromised, but also because the profitability of corporate media is undermined. They are being out-liked and out-engaged in social media platforms like Facebook. Mocha Uson, Sass Rogando Sasot and Thinking Pinoy are out-performing the online editions of Rappler, Inquirer and the major networks.

But the sheer arrogance and holier than thou attitude of the campaign to retake the Internet drew strong reactions. It was soundly criticized for its pretentiousness and elitist prejudice.

This is a fate that may also befall this otherwise noble intention of the Kapuso network. The project already speaks of elitist self-entitlement, where GMA appointed itself as the arbiter of correctness. And this is aggravated when it turned its focus to social media alone as the only possible source of bias-induced lies and misrepresentations.

Yet the acts of lying and misrepresenting have earlier found their natural home in mainstream media. In fact these biased misrepresentations are what enraged and dissatisfied the netizens and drove them to social media to post their own takes on political issues. When legitimate news was no longer “tama” or correct, enraged citizens turned to the Internet and used it as a space to express their own narratives. Unfortunately, citizen expressions in social media became vulnerable to fakery, even as political propaganda found a new place to thrive, preying on netizens to become foot-soldiers in spreading unverified information.

But one question needs to be asked. If journalists and media networks can commit the sins of misrepresentation, as bearers of lies and institutionalized biases, then why should GMA target only social media for cleansing?

This is what is not right in #HindiTama. It turns GMA into a custodian of correctness, and a curator of crowd-sourced truth reports culminating in the hashtag #HindiTama being stamped on the offending post without even the benefit of due process for the netizen, and of self-introspection for the one calling out the offense.

Of course, some will say that mainstream media already has its editorial mechanisms to weed out biases and lies. But we also see the obvious biases of media companies being revealed in the news they print and air, no matter how hard they try to hide and deodorize these with their slogans of supposed objectivity. Some like Rappler, the Inquirer and ABS-CBN have already been tagged, rightly or wrongly, as biased against President Duterte and the Marcoses. Obviously, editorial mechanisms become complicit in propagating the biases and lies by mainstream media.

And then you have journalists who project themselves as gate-keepers of truth, as fact checkers, but their partisan views, or hatred toward certain political personalities emerge from their social media posts. In fact many media personalities, and I am not talking here of political analysts and media-moonlighting academics but legitimate professional news-gatherers and news reporters, boldly express their political biases in their own social media accounts.

Yet, GMA opted to focus on the ordinary citizens whose posts deserve to be judged, shamed and stamped with #HindiTama.

GMA may have taken the initiative to be at the forefront of the campaign since it is perceived to be one of the least biased, and one with the lightest political baggage. I would have believed this had I not been a victim once. In July 2015, my op-ed piece critical of the former President’s last SONA was pulled out from GMA News Online allegedly upon orders, this despite the fact that it was already vetted and reviewed. That article would have been the 47th I wrote for them.

One should be reminded that there is nothing special in exposing fake news and fakers, for you simply expose them for what they truly are.

But when you expose legitimate news and professional journalists for the lie they peddle, then it becomes truly subversive since you expose something for what they have failed to do.

And this is precisely why this campaign to exorcise only social media of the fakery and the misleading memes is not subversive enough. In fact, it is just another face of the hypocritical and arrogant campaign of retaking the Internet.

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40 Comments

  1. I agree with Mr. Contreras. Hindi naman talaga ganon ka neutral ang GMA with the likes of Wennie Monsod who a is rabid and fanatical anti Duterte, Howie Severino na simple lang bumanat kay Digong pati na si Kara David na rabid Roxas fan din.

  2. Our comments have been labelled as spam when they disagree with the mainstream view. Yet, they keep claiming to be upholding freedom of expression and the press. That’s sheer hypocrisy, just like what the Vatican Church is doing with their righteousness claims and pedophilia, money laundering, interference on the affairs of the State, etc.

    All institutions, e.g. media, political, medical, religion, are nothing but Priesthood. If you depart from their self-serving doctrines, you’ll be labeled as #HindiTama.

    Social media is just an upgraded form of conversation. One’s statement can only gain wider acceptance if the facts cited are verifiable. In short, social media is self-regulated, unlike the mainstream media which is dictated by corporate interests.

  3. You nailed it Sir. They should worry for their own wrongs. People are not dumb not to know which one is Hindi Tama and which one is right. Some people can be gullible but it is the same case as some of their reporters are.

  4. It is a sad truth that for a long time the country’s public opinion was shaped by what these biased media ,like GMA, ABS CBN and Philippine Inquirer etc, have peddled to promote certain interest. Nilason ang isipan ng mga kababayan nating mga Pilipino. Mabuti naman nagakaroon ng social media like facebook kung saan itoy nagsilbing alternatibong pahayagan.We saw how the bias media depicted President Duterte na parang ginawang chop suey ang mga sinasabi ni Presidente.They covered only the number of deaths rather than the positive effects of war against drugs and other achievements of the President.

  5. Then pwede rinntayo mag counter lanch ng “hindi tamang report at bias report” marami akong napapanood na nga malisyosong report ng mga reporter nila. Lagyan din natin ng stamp then post jan sa page nila na yan ng mga matauhan yan. Ex. Magrereport na para bang nakaka 6yrs na si pres. duterte at hindi nya pa rin kaya masulosyunan ang traffic sa edsa. HELLO! Kakalampas pa lang ng 100days nga engot kayong reporter kayo! Malesyosong pagbabalita. And for the record hindi ako troll fakers or bot.

  6. Julio A. Galang on

    Thanks Mr Contreras for this enlightening piece.

    In fairness to GMA I guess they should be congratulated for their surprising courage – imagine assigning themselves the unviable role of GUARDIANS AND ARBITERS of truth – ano ang TAMA. It takes tons and tons of bravery and guts to do that. Kasi I’m sure as the sun rises every morning that in their hearts alam nila in so many cases their own reporting ay HINDI TAMA. You’ve cited your own sad experience of editorial bias and I can cite my and others’ experience of 24 Oras’ biased reportage. So alam nila that maraming magagalit sa GMA for arrogating itself to such a lofty, sovereign role that would stir up screams of MGA SIRA ULO PALA KAYO! KAYO AND DAPAT LAGYAN NG HASHTAG SA ULO! Which may have a solid basis.

    YET, they went ahead with their “Hindi Tama” crusade. That speaks volumes of the kind of stern stuff they are made of. For that I salute them no end.

    You are right Sir Tony! GMA used to be the only one I consider na medyo fair. But palagay ko napasukan ng mga SIRA ULO kaya nagka ganyan sila. So, honestly the only TAMA that I consider sa GMA now is the Aldub nation.

    As for ABS-CBN and Inquirer – ayy, matagal ng maraming nagsasabi MGA SIRA ULO KAYO!

  7. Jason Peñaranda on

    A brilliant man opened a huge public park & playground. It has a lot of features so everyone could come in and play whatever. People became friends, played together, and learned other sports. It was cool.

    Years after, athletic groups started coming in. Their players were good at what they do, trained their whole lives for that. They wanted to play with everyone. They were received well and the playground became more fun. All was well.

    Somewhere along the way, people noticed that the athletes were committing violations in their own game. Some did not want to play with them anymore.

    The non-athletes, because they wanted to have fun (it is a playground after all), improvised and created new ways to play games. They even created new games and activities. The athletic groups did not like this.
    “Play by the rules of the sport,” the athletes said.

    “But there are no rules here, we just play and create new games and have fun,” said the those who were there first.

    “You yourselves violate the rules in your own sport,” cried the others.

    “Follow our rules or we’ll kick you out of the playground,” the athletes demanded.

    “We got here first and you don’t own it,” countered the crowd.

    It wasn’t cool anymore. They continue to fight.

    From his office in a tall building across the street, the man who put up the park & playground looks down at his creation.

    “So much activity going on down there,” Mark Zuckerberg whispered to himself.

    And he was pleased.

  8. The war to control the narrative is raging hot, so of course the likes of GMA network will do its share in this battle, and whether foul or fair does not matter. The answer is to fight back, and to always remember that all is fair.

  9. They dnt have the monopoly of yellow journalism/media sa daming tsismosa at tsismosa sa Pinas. Takot silang mawalan ng pinagkakakitaan. Meron nga jan dating voice over ni Inday Badiday sa mga tsismis naluklok sa mataas na pwesto sa Ph Govt. Saan ka pa.

  10. We should be intelligent enough to know that not everything is true in socall media. Read the newspaper instead, it’s cheaper and no wifi needed.

  11. dindo balatucan on

    the best thing kila mocha , thinging pinoy at sass nakikita namin yung mga magagandang ginawa ng duterte admin na hidni namin nakikita sa ibang fb page lalo na kaming mga ofw na umaasa ng balita sa fb at hindi sa local tv news sa pinas

  12. You are correct sir!… “Another face of the hypocritical and arrogant campaign”… GMA 7 is a Yellow Cult!!!

  13. Lumalabas pala ang GMA ang tama lagi! Ratings lang ang pinaguuspan dito saka limpak limpak na tubo. Tiyak gagawa din ang ABS CBN ng pautot. Marami sa mga tv reporters mahahalata mo sa pananalita na ayaw nila sa ginagawa ni tatay digong.

  14. Elijah O. Licayan on

    Let the Sambayanang Pilipino decides. Just report what is fact, GMA. Why worry about trolls and fakers.. The Filipinos are intelligent enough, in fact very intelligent, to sieve the chaffs from the grains, as shown in the last election. HINDI TALAGA ang #HindiTama. Where is Freedom of Speech and Freedim of Expression, if you keep on suppressing what is and what is not. Mainstream Bias Media.. You sowed the Wind of Biases, you are now REAPING THE WHIRLWIND AND STORM SURGES OF BACKLASH from ordinary Filipinos..

  15. freedom follower on

    when an institution tries to correct the mainstream media: they cry foul, they have their right to express their opinion! when the mainstream media censor individual views and opinions: they are spreading lies, they are deceitful individuals who wants to use the freedom of speech as an excuse!! where do they get the right? they are ignorant!! where are their college degrees?! i find it funny and scary at the same time.. mainstream media thinks it is their sole right to express their views and opinions and they can censor everyone else’

  16. Baka nakakalimutan nila na dinumog daw si Mar Roxas sa Hong Kong nung kasabay ng rally ni Mocha LOL. Nilangaw si Mar doon at hindi binalita ng GMA yung rally ni Mocha sa tabi.

    Just one of #HindiTama instances ng GMA. And they shout credibility like the first commenter? Yeah, right!

  17. Not even close. The media corrects its own record and does not block dissent from its own social media platforms unlike these fake journalists. If that reeks of elitism, it is only because they had integrity they could bank on.

    Where’s the integrity in Mocha Uson or those Duterte pages whose sole purpose is to quote themselves and peddle their propaganda as truth? Where was their journalism degrees and training? Do they even know what the word ‘recuse’ means? (In response to Mocha interviewing Duterte and thinking she made an exclusive ‘interview’.)

    All this article reeks of is anti-intellectualism, which is already rampant in the PH.

    • Sounding like a true intellectual bigot.
      Thou shalt have no right to meddle with politics or be proactive with media if your bank of difficult vocabularies is close to 0 (i concur……………….. not in this life!)
      The audacity! And these so called journalist (they should really have a legit professional license in order for them to be considered professionals in the country where professionals needsnto take an exam and get a license) who reeks of intellect and malice can read their own written work, good luck to them and to the whole lot of you who are so full of your intellectual selves. Simple people who mostly compose the whole nation dont need to be as intelligent as you to keep the country rolling

    • Good point. But why are these so called “real and trained journalist act like they are trained tobe biased? It’s not just technicalities and certains skills that you need to have for you to be called a “journalist”. You need to speak the truth first and since some are easily bought, they act like they are professionals with good vocabularies and awesome delivery on their news but lacks sincerity and truthfulness.

    • I wont say you are wrong but I would like to question your views:

      “Not even close. The media corrects its own record and does not block dissent from its own social media platforms unlike these fake journalists. If that reeks of elitism, it is only because they had integrity they could bank on.”
      – Like Rappler’s #noplaceforhate does not block dissent? The campaign was virtually trying to censor disenters. So what “integrity” does Rappler have by starting that campaign?

      “Where’s the integrity in Mocha Uson or those Duterte pages whose sole purpose is to quote themselves and peddle their propaganda as truth? Where was their journalism degrees and training?”

      – According to your logic, “Mocha or those Duterte pages” do not deserve a following because they lack “degrees” and “training”. These pages never expected a following nor have they forced anyone to follow them. How unfortunate for mainstream media, one who has “degree” and “training”, to have less following than these pages do due to circumstances mainstream media profess to have control of but which it turned out they did not. So tell me, if mainstream who has “degree” and “training” have less following, what does that tell of their “integrity”?

      “All this article reeks of is anti-intellectualism, which is already rampant in the PH.” – You speak of “intellect” as though only the pedigreed and trained own the privileges of “intellect”, as though those without should only act as puppets and only follow what an “intellectual” says. Do you really believe such a view advances “intellect” in a society?

    • i beg to disagree. Mainstream media can be a tool of deceit and exploited for anything other than ias neutral peddlers of truth. This is true not only in the Philippines but anywhere in the world. They have enjoyed dominance for ages and unchallenged in their power to thwart the truth for their own self serving end. That was then, The technology changed all that and now they’re threatened and scared shit the long muted voice have finally achieved the unexpected to becoming the alternative medium for the under privileged and marginalised sector of society to be heard.

      Whose integrity is in question here now? Mocha’s? And or the others who possess no journalistic training but can present the truth? If she or the others can fulfill the sacred promise of presenting the truth as event unfolds or what not, wouldn’t that suffice and or qualify? News casting, be it in print or what have you is no difference from having something authentic, pristine or of pertinence to tell someone you know or even a complete stranger at any given time, don’t you think?

      The ultimate judge here is the listener or the end-user(reader) who are endowed with intelligence to sift the truth from dodgy ones, not merely by blind obedience. The fact that she is continually gaining support in increasing numbers I suppose is her unsullied credibility, unambitious and truthful unambiguous simplicity.

    • All of Mr. Contreras’s articles thus far reek of anti-intellectualism. Lagi niyang pinpuri sila Mocha Uson, et al. I’m beginning to think baka may crush si prof kay Mocha.

    • Mary Ann Dioneda on

      anti -intellectualism ba kamo? hahahaha kelan pa ba yan nauso? can your intellects cover-up for lack of integrity? or you rather judge a piece of information based on the degree of the writer than the truth or falsity of its content? ok lang na gaguhin ang pagbabalita basta intellectuals? pero pag hindi lagyan ng #hindi tama ganun ba? kelan pa ba nauso ang intellectualism na yan? ipauso nyo nga muna…

    • “The media corrects its own record and does not block dissent from its own social media platforms”

      Wrong na wrong to the highest level.

    • And u say u media corrects its own? As i wouldnt bother reading news website anymore, enlighten us retards of what media outlet exhort unbias opinions of the current administration (abs cbn, rappler and inquirer)

    • “Not even close. The media corrects its own record and does not block dissent from its own social media platforms unlike these fake journalists. If that reeks of elitism, it is only because they had integrity they could bank on.”

      Keep dreaming.

  18. Charlie dela vega on

    Mga pusang galang presstitute yan!
    Matagal na tayong pinagiikot ng mga yan upang pagtakpan ang kanilang personal na interest at pakinabang. Salamat at may Mocha, sassot at iba pang nagsasabi ng #DapatTama !

  19. That moment na may nabasa akong #hinditama na gawa ng gma , they left me with no choice but to #unfollowed them.

    #SerbisyongElitistaPoLamang

  20. So that’s the whole point GMA? You are sole custodian of truth and correctness? Such hypocrisy is disgusting. Don’t capitalize on truth. You got that muddled up with your greed for money.

  21. Aristhotle Dungo on

    palitan nating ang project ng biased na gmanews from #HindiTama to #DapatTama. Ms Mocha please spread it.

  22. Got hurt, right? Because you’ve been biased yourself. All you liars and biased writers, pseudo journalist, and trying hard ‘truth commentators’ get what you deserve! A dose of your own medicine.