Kiko tells social media users: Avoid toxic sites, unfriend random people

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In celebration of World Social Media Day, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Tuesday, July 1, called on Filipinos to use their social media power for good.

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan

Ngayon, nagiging commercialized at weaponized na ang social media, tulad na lang ng pananakot sa mga pumupuna, o kahit na ‘yung meron lang ibang paningin sa mga bagay-bagay tulad ni Frankie,” Pangilinan said referring to the various threats his daughter received online for expressing her point that rape is caused by rapists and not by sexy clothes.

As the social media capital of the world, the Philippines has become a petri dish for political operatives who use the platform to sow fear and hate, he said, pointing to various studies on data mining of Facebook accounts.

Nagsimula at naging matagumpay ang social media para pag-ugnayin ang mga tao sa kanilang mga kapamilya at kaibigan, at para palawakin pa ang ating mga circle of friends at kaalaman. Revolutionary at game-changing ang social media dahil diretso sa tao ang komunikasyon. Dahil may palitan ng kuro-kuro at kaalaman at damdamin na nangyayari. At dahil mabilis, o real time, nangyayari ang mga ito,” he said.

About 70% of the Philippine population on social media, according to the Pew Research Center.

“How do we reclaim what should be a safe space online? Unfollow social media pages that do not cater to your interests anymore. Unfriend random people you have added on your Facebook over the years. Leave groups that spam your notifications and perpetuate hive mentality. Report fake news and abusive language. Mute toxic words on your Twitter. Block and do not engage with the paid trolls,” Pangilinan said.

“We have power over our social media experience, and it’s high time to make it work for us. We should not just be passive receivers of information, but active participants in reclaiming social media to be what it used to be. Join your interest groups, and share content that reflect your interests and values,” he added.

Pangilinan himself recently premiered a bi-monthly social media show on Facebook and Youtube called “Agri Tayo”, which aims to promote agriculture on social media.

To date, two episodes have already aired: “Oh My Gulay!” which discussed the importance of vegetables as aid and relief in the time of pandemic, and “Meet Your (Urban) Garden” which discussed basic urban gardening steps and tips. The second episode garnered at least 40,000 reach during and immediately after airing.

Gusto nating ilapit ang agrikultura sa karaniwang tao, at magkaroon ng pagpapahalaga at interes sa pagsasaka. Kaya naman umaasa tayo na sa pamamagitan ng social media ay makakabuo tayo ng ating sariling ‘Agri Tayo’ community kung saan mapag-uusapan, matatalakay, at maibabahagi ang ating mga karanasan sa agrikultura at pagsasaka. Iyon ang isa sa dapat mangyari sa social media,” Pangilinan said.

Agri Tayo is in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, along with various local government units nationwide.

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