Scrolling through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter has become a mundane activity for me. At times of stress and boredom, I find myself reading tweets and sharing posts about anything that trigger my mind and brews my own curiosity. Last Sunday, February 25, at around 3 am, as the dawn of the 32nd anniversary of the revolution was nearing, I saw a poll on Facebook I didn’t expect to see but it didn’t surprise me as well.
The amount of attention the poll on Facebook about whether the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution was a product of fake news or not really amazes me. Aside from being declared as a public holiday, the revolt has been honored by the world as the first most peaceful uprising in history. Although, despite the fact that the mutiny is indeed not “fake news”, the poll garnered nearly 62,000 votes, with 84 percent saying the revolution was a product of fake news, while the other 16 percent disagrees. The poll also attracted 12,700 reactions, 4,400 comments, and 4,200 shares.
In all honesty, I don’t blame Mocha Uson for her poll. Actually, if one will assess the post properly, Uson is merely asking the public if they believe the historical event is considered fake news or not, she did not exactly say that the event is a product of fake news. I assumed most reactions online were going to be expressed towards the people comprising the 84 percent of the poll but most of the comments were really geared towards Uson.
German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” With the pushing and pulling, the effort we exert that goes into the campaign of diminishing her work and reducing her as a person, we are actually fueling her fame and propelling her to attain greater power.
What we fail to realize is whether we admire her or loathe her, she’s still winning because she was able to gain our attention. Whenever we post a tweet, reply to a comment or even share her post with deep and utmost disgust, we’re still publicizing her post for her. We are helping her achieve greater heights and she is using this as an advantage.
Mocha Uson is the epitome of the quote, “Bad publicity is better than no publicity.” She is highly talented in what she does and her interpersonal skills are exceptional. She knows what to do and say to please the people she knows who follow and accept her views. Simultaneously, she knows how to trigger the people who despise her, no matter how stupid it gets.
She will continue using her mandate and influence to control the masses, it’s up to us, media consumers, whether we would succumb to becoming victims of fake news or not. In the words of the Philippines’ prominent blogger today, “ako po ay biktima ng fake news,” but then again aren’t we all?
Whether we hate or love Mocha Uson, she is and always will be Mocha Uson. She will continue posting whatever she wants to in her blog, she will still get paid the same amount of money, and she will continue on living her life. At the end of the day, it’s up to us if we will absent mindedly give in to what she wants.
Furthermore, if ever she continues her endeavor to spread her ideologies and gather her followers at her will and might, our only task as Filipinos is solemn contemplation. By means of contemplation, we will come to know how we are becoming her tools to prominence and much less likely as our own individuals in the media.
Knowing how to sort out information and being able to combat fake news are key abilities in the media environment today. Will Mocha continue to thrive and win our hate and love? Naturally, it is in our own hands whether we take the bait and fall for the trap or we outsmart the trap set and work our way through. In the end, it is in overcoming deception that we may then regard ourselves as the true winners.