There are days when I feel the urge to stomp my feet in exasperation over the futile discussions we are having in the nation. Many of these discussions come from those who misinform instead of inform, those who agitate the water instead of letting it settle so the people could see clearly.
All these fake news that plague the internet and social media I could only laugh at, I enjoy watching people make a fool of themselves, it makes me laugh when it is apparent to me that people are only making up stories to destroy each other, it gives me some sort of psychological satisfaction when I watch government officials lie to the people even when many already know the truth. I like finding out what they are made of and they reveal the foul things they are made of with every lie.
But while it makes me feel morally superior, I remember that there are millions of our fellowmen out there whose lives are so hard they cannot spare a moment to think about the social issues let alone reflect about the truth. And this is where worry defeats my amusement.
Think of a high-schooler coming from a family that’s so hard up in life they don’t have television or internet at home, sometimes they don’t even eat at all. But a few blocks away there’s an internet shop that allows him to open his Facebook account for a few minutes for 1 peso. He has five pesos to spare. He has a few minutes on Facebook. He follows the Mocha Uson Blog. His friends, who are equally young and equally unenlightened, shared fake news about the so-called “Dilawans”. He reads the fake news and believes that they are set to oust the president and that Vice President Leni Robredo herself calls for people to oust the president because he is not fit to lead the nation.
The kid also sees that treason was being defined by the same Facebook blog as basically “going against the president”, and the kid then thinks that those who are against the president are traitors. His young mind can’t decide if the slaughter of suspected drug users/small time syndicates is good for the nation. But then as far as the fake news site says, it is for the people that the administration is doing it.
And even if young and innocent people almost his age are victimized by these killings that are said to be for “the people’s benefit”, the kid still can’t put his foot down because he isn’t sure, and he couldn’t care less because while those who are comfortable enough in life could think about this, he could only wonder if he’d get some beating as soon as he comes home because he neglected his chores, and even if he doesn’t get beaten or scolded, he’d rather worry about what they’ll have for dinner than think of these issues that don’t seem to concern him. As far as the fake news and the people who are sharing it are concerned, you don’t get hurt if you do no wrong.
Let’s name this kid I have been picturing in my head as Totoy. Totoy is real, he represents millions of our youth out there who, like the Totoy in this article, come from families who couldn’t care less about the killings and other issues because they are busy making sure they have food on their table. They may worry about the killings especially when the one killed lives a few blocks away but if they ever get curious, who do they believe?
While we still have journalists whose credibility remain unquestionable flooding us with enlightening posts online, what about about Totoy, his mother and father, his sisters and brothers? What about them? Whose version of truth do they believe?
The more I think about this, the more I realize that our problem with all these fakes news and shameless liars in the government is bigger than it appears.
Because while Totoy and those who live the same lives he lives seem unimportant, what they think, the stand they’ll take, matters.
And if the people who see these injustices, the so called intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals who seem to know exactly how to stop these deliberate destruction of lives could get these people to care and believe, maybe this administration would come to its senses and realize that they can’t manipulate the people anymore./WDJ