An expert advised the public and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to be critical of trolls in the face of what he said is becoming a strategy of politicians as the 2022 elections approach.
This is in front of the alleged troll farms that are being leaked by some government officials.
According to the University of the Philippines – Diliman Journalism and Ethics Professor Rachel Khan, the Comelec should carefully review politicians’ spending in elections, especially now that the use of social media in campaigning due to coronavirus disease (COVID -19) pandemic is being intensified.
“Siguro dapat kung nagmomonitor sila, inuusisa nila yung expenses yung mga vague, iusisa pa nila kasi normally hindi ‘yan naka-record… Bakit mo irerecord na ‘Nag-hire ako ng troll’? Walang black and white so dapat kung hindi nila ma-pinpoint na ‘saan mapupunta ang expense na ito?’ – dapat itanong pa nila. Usually lalabas yan [under] ‘personnel’. [Tanungin niyo]: Bakit ganiyan karami ang hina-hire?’ Mahirap i-trace pero baka a few ma-track pa natin,” she said.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson had earlier revealed an Undersecretary allegedly behind the troll farms spreading propaganda.
Review social media spending of 2022 election candidates: expert
This is something that Khan is also alarmed about, especially since the money may come from the government or equipment may be used for this.
She said the public should be more careful now with the new trolls’ new strategy to start a fight between ordinary netizens and quit afterward.
Because of this, it becomes difficult for netizens to find out if the troll they are fighting online.
“The thing is ano eh, it’s very hard to detect if they’re trolls or not dahil may mga ordinary citizens na dahil nasa Facebook o social media, nakakalimutan na tao na kausap nila at lumalabas ang pagkabastos at hindi sila nagrerespeto ng tao so ginagamit ng trolls, pinapalaki nila ‘yon. Ang normally ginagawa nagpo-provoke sila ng ordinaryong tao para nag-aappear na mas marami sila,” she said.
And in boosting the use of social media this election, Khan advised netizens to be critical to check if the talking account on social media is active.