Author Topic: Doing more truthful, rational, responsible social media posts - 1  (Read 3460 times)

Joe Carillo

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My original idea last week was to entitle this column “Erosion of online language in social media.” On second thoughts, however, I decided to approach the subject more constructively to make it some sort of primer on how to write more readable, truthful, rational, and responsible social media posts.

What prompted me to write on this subject are the suffocating levels of hate, impunity, illogic, misinformation and disinformation, and intemperate language that are getting vented on Twitter and Facebook as the campaign for the next Presidential elections gets into high gear.

Of course it’s evident that the most vicious and virulent social media posts are being copiously churned out by salaried campaign hacks, but some of them are no doubt being generated by social media writers who are just merrily but naively abusing their much-vaunted freedom of self-expression. In fact, many of their posts are baseless, ill-advised, illogical, and incoherent vituperation that could ruin not only their targets but eventually also themselves.

Take this vicious, multi-barbed dig on Twitter against Jessica Soho’s January 23, 2022 TV interview of the Philippine presidentiables: “I tried watching that Jessica Soho interview but had to stop after seeing preview questions. And (to Leni): ‘Kung magkakaroon ka ng superpower, ano ang gusto mo?’ (Translation: “If you’re going to be endowed with superpowers, what would it be?”)

And the Twitter guy who posted that, still addressing VP Leni Robredo, asked this question in refrain: “Ano ang masasabi mo sa hindi maka appreciate ng lugaw mo? Like wtf? Ganyan ba kabobo tingin nyo sa audience nyo?” (Translation: “What can you say to those who can’t seem to appreciate your penchant for porridge in your campaign? Like wtf? Is that how stupid you think your audience is?”)

Then consider this underhanded comment on Twitter last January 21—one with neither solid proof for its premise nor for its two presumed conclusions that were evidently just drawn from thin air: “Apparently the Philippines is the only Asian country without mandatory military training. Is it just a coincidence that we are also the one with the longest insurgency and [also the one] against the return of ROTC [for their being] known red personalities?”

On Facebook, the evaluation of over-the-top comments oftentimes gets even more loose and permissive than Twitter’s. Indeed, the Facebook Home opinion/discussion board has this recent posting of an inane and outlandish mock comparative table of the supposed academic degrees earned by five of the current Philippine presidential candidates:

To that frivolous table*, Facebook has allowed this insidious snide response by a mother who is an overenthusiastic supporter of one of the candidates: “Yun ngang baby namin na one and a half years old ay umabot ang lagnat ng 39°C pero masigla at naglalaro pa rin.  Napaka-bondying naman ni Bongbong.” (Translation: “Yet our one-and-a-half-year-old baby had a fever that went up as high as 39o C but he remained very lively and playful. Bongbong is so immature and never grew past childhood.”

I can cite here more of such scurrilous Twitter and Facebook posts, for they are indeed legion as anyone will discover by scrolling the webpages of the two giant social media platforms, but I think the examples I’ve presented already prove my point: those who do social media posts as a livelihood or as a way of life, and those who treasure their democratic freedom of expression and find the idea of losing it unthinkable, need to exercise greater self-control. They must be more prudent, rational, and responsible in expressing their views, thoughts, and feelings in social media.

Next week, I’ll suggest ways and means for doing social media posts clearly, truthfully, methodically, and convincingly to avoid the prospect of outright rejection by the social media platforms or, worse, invite retribution by the targets offended by those posts.
*The mock “degree” scurrilously accorded Bongbong Marcos in the chart posted on Facebook—37.8 degrees (HOME)—was his body temperature in the medical certificate that his legal counsel presented to the COMELEC to justify his client's self-imposed home confinement on January 4, 2022 during a scheduled disqualification case hearing against him that day.
(Next week: Doing more truthful, rational, responsible social media posts - 2)   February 3, 2022

This essay, 2082nd of the series, appeared in the column “English Plain and Simple” by Jose A. Carillo in the Campus Press section of the January 27, 2022 Internet edition of The Manila Times, ©2022 by the Manila Times Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.

Read this essay in The Manila Times:
Doing more truthful, rational, responsible social media posts - 1

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« Last Edit: February 02, 2022, 11:18:54 PM by Joe Carillo »