A discredited coronavirus conspiracy video was presented to the Senate by its President Vicente “Tito” Sotto, the same who wants to become vice president. He said the solution to the Taal Volcano eruption was to have the Air Force go on a cloud seeding operation and flood the crater with rainwater. The people of this country better start worrying because if the author of the Anti-Fake News Bill can come up with such theories. As veteran media personality Ellen Tordesillas says, “That tells us the depth of the problem we are facing in this country.”
The video, which contained unverified claims, was about the “biowarfare being waged by China.”
Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin, Jr. resorted to sarcasm in reacting to the conspiracy theory advanced by the video Sotto presented. “Clever,” he said, adding his own outrageous theory: “Maybe the plan is for China to create a virus so strong they will first test it on themselves, and when they are all dead, they will spread it to other countries.” Touché.
A purveyor of false news is a false prophet – “falso profeta, sabio de pego.” Social media, particularly Facebook, has become one of the biggest and fastest ways to spread misinformation. The problem with social media is that people just post anything they get without looking into the facts. There are people, perverts actually, who get a thrill from posting fake news. Thrill for a few, huge problem for many. In this millennial time, people have no shame or qualms about even lying on FB.
Like Sotto’s biochemical warfare, conspiracy theories become a form of misinformation. They thrive because the public does not get the correct information. We should stop being a bearer of fake news, actually tsismax. We must be able to discern truth from fairy tales or hoaxes that go viral online. We must be wise and not post of things we are not sure of, unless of course you are in the science of politics where the rule of thumb is to discredit your opponent and make sure you come out a hero.
All social media posts should be read with a healthy amount of doubt and suspicion, yet sometimes people believe fake news and even become more convinced that the original misinformation is true after reading a correction that says it isn’t true. As they say, “Noyping-noypi talaga.”
Pedro was a 90-year-old man who went to Doc Wil for his annual check-up. The doctor asked him how he was feeling. “I’ve never been better!” he replied. “I’ve got an 18-year-old bride who is pregnant and having my child. What do you think about that?”
Doc Wil considered this for a moment, then said, “Well, let me tell you a story. I know a guy who’s an avid hunter in the Sierra Madre mountains. But one day he was in a bit of hurry and he accidentally grabbed his umbrella instead of his rifle. So, he was in the mountains and suddenly a wild boar appears in front of him. He raises his umbrella, points it at the wild boar and squeezes the handle. The boar drops dead in front of him.”
Pedro says, “That’s impossible! Someone else must have shot that boar.”
“Exactly,” said Doc.
Last night, Maria brought home her fiancé to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother told her father to go and learn more about the young man. Out on a walk, the father started quizzing the guy. “So what do you do?” the father asked.
“I am a Philosophy scholar,” he replied. The father, obviously impressed with the answer, continued, “Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in?”“I will study and God will provide for us,” he answered back. “Now how do you plan to buy my daughter a beautiful engagement ring?” probed the father again. “I will concentrate on my studies,” the young man replied, “God will provide for us.”
“Hmm, and how do you plan to take care of your children?”
“Don’t worry, sir, God will provide,” answered the fiancé.
Every time the father put on a new question, the young man passed on the on us to God. After he left, the mother inquired about the conversation, the father responded, “Well he has no job and no plans, but the good news is, he thinks I’m God.”
Happy birthday today to my favorite father-in-law, Col. Filoteo Sotto Arevalo, who has lived a good life, but definitely not God to his favorite son-in-law. Sigh.