TO be quite honest, there was a moment of fear, nervous apprehension that an Orwellian Big Brother was monitoring my every post.
As melodramatic as that may sound, you’ll feel it, and be ashamed of yourself for feeling it, when, after such an innocent move as reposting an inspirational maxim (I think I was reposting a Krishnamurti quotation), you get a message as I did several days ago: “Account Restricted.
You can’t post or comment for 24 hours.” I clicked on the button “Why?”, and got the message, in really bad English: “Multiple posts from the last year didn’t follow our standards.”
Bad English, as it wasn’t clear, “from the last year”? You mean the last year 2020 or the year to today?
No button to click to ask for an explanation, which posts? which standards? In my 11 active years as a Facebook user, I have never been blocked nor suspended. In all my decades as a journalist, not one of my articles was blocked by the publisher, nor was I asked not to write a particular piece.
I’ve been a careful writer both in print and social media, and I did read the libel laws that I’ve never had a single libel case. (Tip: libel laws are harsher with regard to pieces on private individuals and firms but very liberal with regard to government officials.)
Whoever got Facebook to suspend me, however, was so stupid as to point to why I was blocked. In the same notification of suspension was my post criticizing the fake “Ateneo Martial Law Museum,” asking why its director, Miguel Rivera, with just an MA in political science with an entry-level rank in the faculty, who had never written anything on martial law, could pretend to be an expert on martial law.
This guy Rivera must have been so pissed off at my FB post that he immediately contacted his network and got me suspended. Or is he a Facebook Philippines staffer? I was also told that Rivera had been with the previous administration’s communications secretary Ricky Carandang, who had a network in FB.
There are 76 million registered Facebook users in the Philippines. Even if just a tenth of those are active and post things in their pages, that’s about 8 million, and many, believe me, post things that are atrocious and violate any civilized community’s standards. Yet I was suspended.
I had pooh-poohed before reports that the Philippine managers of Facebook are run by people of the Yellow cult, the Dilawan. Indeed, certified checkbook “fact-checkers” – I’m not sure though if they still are – are the two media outfits funded by an American NGO said to be linked with the US State Department: Rappler and Vera Files.
This experience certainly bolsters that allegation that Facebook isn’t as apolitical as it claims to be. Indeed, very noticeable in recent days when the Yellows and Reds have intensified their campaign to demonize Marcos has been the prominent and repeated posting of articles, many surprisingly by the GMA7 broadcast network and CNN Philippines, regurgitating the 1980s mostly disproven narratives of how bad the Marcos years were. At least in part, this campaign has been motivated by the Yellows’ paranoid fear that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may have a chance at becoming president in the 2022 elections.
If you think I am promoting Marcos Jr.s’ candidacy, I’m certainly not. With the kind of people around him, he doesn’t have a chance. His sister Imee would have had a better chance – a stronger character more fit for the presidency. He should just volunteer his wealth and energies as a Cabinet member in the next administration, to contribute at least really something concrete to the nation.
However, the intensified Marcos bashing, especially by the University of the Philippines, which has undertaken a four-day series of lectures on how bad the martial law years were, has backfired in a big way. There has been a tsunami of outrage on FB anti-Marcos posts I’ve never seen.
For instance, a GMA News posting of a video claiming that Marcos was merely a power grabber had a remarkable 2,800 comments which, except for a few, were very critical to the point of throwing cuss words against the network. Another post in GMA News was an article reporting on a Left front’s demonstration against martial law. It had an astonishing 12,000 comments, almost all bashing the communists, the Yellows, and even GMA News.
More on that topic next week, and on proof staring us in the face that Filipinos have really already more rationally judged the Marcos years not in the Manichean viewpoint of the Yellows, the Reds and the ivory towers of the Ateneo, UP and La Salle that they’ve infiltrated.
More on that on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.