First, there was this war of words between the mainstream news media and the Internet blogs. Now it’s between blogs from the opposite sides of the political arena — the Duterte supporters on one hand, and the anti-administration on the other.
It has become an ugly war of survival of the fittest, of who has more followers, which has the most netizen engagement, and who can best influence the taking down of social media accounts.
But this so-called cyber war is also about guts. Who has the guts to come out in the open, and who prefers to hide behind the anonymous label.
In this era where lines of communication — or propaganda for that matter — have become easily accessible to anyone who has thoughts and opinions to share to the rest of the world, there is absolutely no reason to act like crabs in a bucket: if I can’t make it to the top, why must you?
Even our politicians have been drawn to the conflict to the point of making censorship part of their legislative agenda.
Politikal Pinoy believes that all netizens (well okay, most) can decide for themselves whether what they read on the Internet is true or troll, legitimate conviction or paid hack, intellectual or plain stupid. The bottom line is that each one of us is entitled to the same freedom of expression. I have often said that the responsibility lies in the messenger as much as in the recipient of the message.
We cannot let this cyber war go on forever, because ultimately, the people that would suffer are the very people that the opinion makers are trying to influence. Social media is as much their venue as it is ours. Let people freely express themselves and let the readers decide.
Let’s focus on the issues and not this useless back and forth on who’s right and who’s wrong, and worse, on who is more of the bully and who’s not.