Fake­booker

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

I AD­MIT it. I’m an ad­dict...to Facebook, a so­cial me­dia nut­case, since 2009.

Ad­mit­tedly, this is where I get ideas for columns, for get­ting in touch with friends, col­leagues, long-lost rel­a­tives and friends here in Ba­colod and else­where in the coun­try and as far away as other Asian coun­tries, Eu­rope, the Amer­i­cas and Africas.

We ex­change notes, de­bate, even en­joy our laughs from funny memes. It helps me to evan­ge­lize, deepen my un­der­stand­ing of my Catholic faith, find an au­di­ence for my so­cial crit­i­cism on so­cial, po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal and spir­i­tual is­sues.

It has be­come our cheapest obit of peo­ple who has passed away to the great be­yond.

Our Led tele­vi­sion is vir­tu­ally ig­nored in fa­vor of my lap­top and Android for the lat­est news and even r es­ear ch es.

The bor­der­less world of the in­ter­net has be­com­ing cramped as I in­ter­act with strangers that I won’t nor­mally in­ter­act with but some­how has be­come my vir­tual friends.

As an Op-ed writer for this pa­per. I take it se­ri­ously that my opin­ions are backed up with facts or credible ex­pert opin­ions.

Much as I try to be per­fect, bum steers some­times man­aged to worm in­side my piece. For that, mea culpa.

I am thus grat­i­fied that Facebook, now my main source of in­for­ma­tion and opin­ions, is do­ing some­thing about this sea of fake facts.

Last week, Facebook re­moved 200 pages and ac­counts cre­ated and or­ga­nized by Pres­i­dent Duterte’s so­cial me­dia man­ager in his 2016 cam­paign, Nic Gabunada.

The 200 pages and ac­counts found on Facebook, In­sta­gram, and Facebook groups were taken down for the mush­room­ing of fake ac­counts— and fake new s.

“[The pages] fre­quently posted about lo­cal and po­lit­i­cal news, in­clud­ing top­ics like the up­com­ing elec­tions, can­di­date up­dates and views, al­leged mis­con­duct of po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents, and con­tro­ver­sial events that were pur­ported to oc­cur dur­ing pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions. Although the peo­ple be­hind this ac­tiv­ity at­tempted to con­ceal their iden­ti­ties, our in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that this ac­tiv­ity was linked to a net­work or­ga­nized by Nic Gabunada,” Facebook said in a blog post .

I like to think of my­self as a scholar. I’m blessed to have some of my ar­ti­cles peer re­viewed by Ivy-leagues schol­ars who re­viewed my work with a fine-toothed comb and pub­lished by Cam­bridge Univer­sity Press.

It would be em­bar­rass­ing for me to quote from fake news. Thank you for your due dili­gence, Facebook. Fake news is the last thing the world of schol­ar­ship need.

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