A Mea Culpa

November 7, 2015 at 9:50 am 6 comments

Art Credit: Charles Monroe Schulz
 
The internet can be considered a blessing and a curse. It has completely transformed the landscape of our lives that I don’t think we can live without it anymore.

For many, it’s been a gold mine for information that would take many lifetimes to sort out. With the power of a click, you can find anything about any subject under the sun. And there’s the rub. It leads to information overdose that tends to cloud our ability to separate the valuable from what is trash.

A good rule to follow is not to consider everything you read online as gospel truth. But it’s not always easy to do. After all, we’re only human.

Take the case of the article, UN to End Philippines’ Membership if Corruption Continues, written by a certain Fanny Jalacjac in the Philippine Pride.

In the article, s/he wrote that “The United Nations warns Philippines that it will remove the country from membership if Aquino or the next president could not improve the country’s corruption level in the next five years.” The article came complete with a made up video posted on YouTube to put more traction on the claim.

The urge to believe what I wanted to believe was so strong that I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker and even quoted it in a post. It was later that I discovered that the whole thing did not add up.

I would like to thank Noel Dela Cruz for bringing the hoax to my attention and thereby saving me from further embarrassment. I immediately deleted the questionable quote from my blog. It was a bad apple ruining the whole barrel. If anything, I learned my lesson and won’t be reading Philippine Pride ever again

Incidentally, the author’s pseudonym was a dead giveaway if I just paid attention to it. The first name “Fanny” could be construed as “Funny” and the last name “Jalacjac” could be loosely translated to “guffaw” in English.

It was unfortunate that I wasn’t the only one duped. There were others, too. From the list, you could include the noted columnist, Bobit S. Avila, of Philippine Star. I’m quite surprised that he hasn’t made any effort to correct the error even after readers have pointed it out to him. I have lost my respect for him. As the saying goes, “An error becomes a mistake only when you refuse to correct it.”

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Leigh W. Smith  |  November 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Wow, amazing the length ‘fake’ newspeople will go to sometimes (a fake video as well as text in this case). Thanks for the explanation, Plaridel.

    Reply
    • 2. plaridel  |  November 7, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      leigh:

      as bloggers we should be more discerning lest we become conduit to spreading falsehoods. i learned my lesson.

      Reply
  • 3. Teresa  |  November 7, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing and it resonates with me in Singapore as i see more and more bogus sites and mean people out to deceive readers and viewers. Many have fallen for it and some even propagate it boldly on their facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. We can only try to educate through such sharings. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • 4. plaridel  |  November 7, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      teresa:

      yes, it’s ironic that the internet and social media can be abused as such. they’re meant for the common good and should be handled with care.

      Reply
  • 5. Suzanne Joshi  |  November 7, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    You were very wise, Plaridel, to admit your mistake and make amends when you did. Anyone can make a mistake. It takes a big person to admit it. I would do just what you did. You can now put it behind you with no regrets. 🙂

    Reply
    • 6. plaridel  |  November 7, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      suzanne:

      thank you for the understanding. 🙂

      Reply

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