Rappler cannibalizes own report just to hit Duterte

Trolls, Bots, and Fake News

Rappler cannibalizes own report just to hit Duterte

- in Opinion
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If you compare the two Rappler stories written in 2016 and 2017, it is clear that Ranada cannibalized Gavilan's report and applied her own anti-Duterte spin on the story. From being organic and volunteer-driven, it now becomes hired trolls and online defenders.

Nagkakwentuhan kami nung isang gabi ng kaibigan kong si Nic Gabunada tunkgol dito sa isyu ng trolls at bots na pinapalaki ng Rappler base sa isang research paper na nilabas ng Oxford Internet Institute. Pinalalabas kasi ng Rappler na nagbayad daw si President Duterte ng Php 10 million pesos para sa mga online trolls at bots.

Before I continue, para sa mga hindi pa nakaka alam, si Nic ang in-charge sa media operations ni Duterte nung campaign period. At sya din ngayon ang pilit na tinuturo ng Rappler na diumanoy may pakana sa pag gamit ng trolls at bots para manira ng mga kalaban ni President Duterte.

So paano ba talaga na umpisa ang lahat ng ito?

Based on my conversation with Nic (and a bit of back-reading), we can trace it all back to Rappler. They were the key source for the Oxford research in the Philippines. This includes the Php 10 million peso figure, which came from a story written by Rappler’s Jodesz Gavilan back in June 2016.

But in that original story, Nic made it very clear that the social media campaign of Duterte was organic and volunteer-driven. This is a crucial point that was lost in the Oxford study, and deliberately muddled in subsequent Rappler reports.

Importanteng maintindihan ung interview na yon kasi doon unang lumabas ang figure na Php 10 million pesos, na binanggit ni Nic in explaining how the Duterte campaign had to be creative kasi nga walang pera. In-explain din ni Nic sa Rappler na puro mga volunteers ang tumulong sa kampanya, at ang naging trabaho niya was mostly in organizing and ung pag conceptualize ng mga messages na pwedeng ma share sa social media. Nic even emphasized that they never used bots in the campaign.

ARCHIVED ARTICLE: Duterte’s P10M social media campaign: Organic, volunteer-driven

This article is crucial in understanding the whole picture.

Lalo kasing gumulo ang kuwento nung biglang ginamit ni Pia Ranada ng Rappler ung data na galing daw sa Oxford research para sabihin na nagbayad si President Duterte ng Php 10 million para sa mga “online defenders and trolls” nung kampanya. Pero ito din ung information na galing sa Rappler mismo.

So kung baga parang chubibo lang na umikot yung information from Rappler to Oxford and then back to Rappler ulit. Except that after going around once, the story that Ranada wrote was unrecognizable from the first Rappler report from which it was originally based.

ARCHIVED ARTICLE: Duterte says online defenders, trolls hired only during campaign


If you compare the two Rappler stories written in 2016 and 2017, it is clear that Ranada cannibalized Gavilan’s report and applied her own anti-Duterte spin on the story. From being organic and volunteer-driven, it now becomes hired trolls and online defenders.

Alam ko na medyo nakakalito at mahirap sundan ang sequence ng kanilang panloloko, pero dyan sila umaasa – na mag give up ang mga tao at tanggapin na lang ang sinasabi nila. They want us to be confused and gullible para mas madali tayong mauto.

Kaya maski nakakasawa ng patulan ang isyung ito, hindi din naman natin pwedeng palampasin na lang ang mga kagaguhang tulad nito. Lalo’t alam natin na hindi tayo bayaran, at mas lalong hindi tayo bots. Totoong tao tayo. At kung ayaw nila maniwala, they do it at their own peril.


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