Oxford University recently published a study that suggested an estimate of Php 10 million was spent on fake accounts and online trolls to spread pro-President Rodrigo Duterte propaganda online, but a retired general counters that the critics just cannot accept the change in the “political landscape”.
Abe Purugganan said that the information network is no longer monopolized by major news outlets and journalists because the digital platform has given ordinary citizens a chance to input their own information and opinions.
The advent of the internet and social media has made the citizens the key players in the mass communication process because they can now countercheck data and demand transparency because the truth is no longer peddled exclusively amongst select people.
Purugganan goes as far as pinning journalists as the real paid trolls because they earn from writing stories, unlike citizens whose views are purely their own without an organization or sponsor that could influence it.
In his full post on Facebook, Purugganan said,
“Some people cannot accept the fact that technology has changed the political landscape. They refuse to believe that thru technology, citizens have been empowered to challenge traditional political institutions. Citizens can express their individual observations, opinions, and sentiments without being paid to do so, unlike journalist. They write their thoughts and feelings, and post them in the internet which gives them the opportunity to publish for the whole world to see.
The internet / social media has levelled the political playing field. Citizens have become major players in the communication media. In fact, they have not only challenged the politicians and those in the traditional media who previously dominated national discourse, but they are beating them and exposing their lies and anomalies.
Are not journalists the real paid trolls? The mere fact that they are paid to write, they are the trolls in the mass media.”
Source: Facebook / Abe Purugganan
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