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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Don’t be victimized by fake news

/ 05:01 AM April 23, 2020

I am appalled by the amount of fake news available online. Across all social media sites, this insurmountable problem has devoured many users’ acumen, as they effectively ignore reports from legitimate news organizations.

Fake news encompasses a wide spectrum, from alleged COVID-19 treatments to sham statements pronounced by politicians.

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In the early days of the enhanced community quarantine, my brother and I came across a video on YouTube where rum was mixed with bleach and water in lieu of disinfectant alcohols that were wiped out of grocery shelves. Meanwhile, some relatives shared a video on our group chat where a reporter detailed how bananas are supposedly a cure for the deadly disease.

Nowadays, edited photos of opposition politicians saying outrageous things to make them look bad, stupid, and ignorant flood my newsfeed. There are also quotes from fictitious and deceased personalities apparently praising the President’s leadership, disseminated online to mock his critics.

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Fake news has caused me, and I assume many others, a lot of stress and pain. The thought that many people are being lured by these falsehoods, especially at a time when we desperately need credible information, is just nerve-wracking.

Its spread can be as deadly as the virus, because it feeds the average person misinformation that may cause him/her danger and harm. It will take a lot of time ‍before that person is convinced that the consumed information ‍is phony.

Maybe a lot of us are thinking of deactivating our social media accounts just to run away from the toxicity of the internet. But isn’t it unfair to the rest of the Filipinos that we take no action to prevent the dissemination of fake news?

We should instead be active fact-checkers, report social media accounts and pages that spread fake news, report false news to local authorities, and encourage others to like and follow recognized news organizations.

Let’s not be victims of fake news.

EDUELLE JAN T. MACABABBAD 
Taytay, Rizal

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TAGS: Eduelle Jan T. Macababbad, fake news, Letter to the Editor, social media
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