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Hot takes straight from the “troll farm,” ABS-CBN shutdown edition

Internet trolls exist for a number of reasons: to rile up users for those clicks and engagement, and for those folks with dark humor—as a really odd source of entertainment.

Rage-inciting users pop out whenever there’s a new topic making waves. They combat trending topics with hashtags of their own, raising some eyebrows and the occasional “WTF.” One of the usual tactics are “copypastas,” blocks of text spread around the web usually considered spam, and almost identical to each other down to the typos. Seriously—haven’t they heard about the one rule when copying homework?

With the National Telecommunications Commission’s recent cease-and-desist order to ABS-CBN, some users were quick to rebut those who’ve sided with the network. We’ve compiled some of these alleged troll thoughts that have made its rounds across the web.

“No one is above the law”

“Informed ppl: #YesToABSCBNShutdown, Uninformed ppl: #NoToABSCBNShutDown,” reads one. “If you insist that ABS-CBN should continue because of Press Freedom then you are proving that FREEDOM OF THE PRESS is above all LAW.”

“The law may be harsh, but it is the law” has been the most recent spiel of several users. This may have neglected certain facts, such as Justice Secretary Guevarra telling the NTC that they can offer “provisional authority” for the network’s continuing operations past May 4. On Mar. 10, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba had accepted this, saying that they’ll allow Guevarra’s request.

What’s made more apparent in the “troll” texts are the visible directives, with one post having “COPY AND PASTE” written above it, as noted by several users. Note to self: Hit that backspace.

“ABS-CBN has failed its employees”

“From the very beginning they knew there’s something wrong with their franchise, but they shrug it off thinking that they can get away with it,” says a couple of identical posts across Twitter.

Based on past data, it can be inferred that ABS-CBN hadn’t been “shrugging off” their impending expiration. By 2014, the network had filed for an extension on their franchise, marking the first attempt for the renewal ahead of their deadline. Since it didn’t get past committee level, more attempts were made after. According to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Securities of Exchange Commission, ABS-CBN hadn’t committed any violations. “They are regularly filing and paying their taxes for the past number of years,” reports Simplicio Cabantac, Jr., head of a unit of BIR’s Large Taxpayers Service. Sources from the network told Inquirer that ABS-CBN CEO Carlo Katigbak promised employees that their jobs will be safe for at least the next three months.

Read more: Is there a right way to address trolls (apart from “starving them”)?

“ABS-CBN is not the only network”

“Sila lang ba ang network?” It’s true, the country has a lot to offer when it comes to news sources and channels. But the existence of other networks isn’t the crux of the situation here—to censor one is a threat to the rest, and it’ll be treated as a cautionary tale to dangle in front of those who want to speak up.

Coming across insistent naysayers will remain a regular thing when scrolling through social media. While some users shout for their starvation, there are other ways to combat these rage-inducing hot takes. Whether it’s to ignore them, report or treat it as an educational platform for those listening in—we’ve got some advice here.

Read more:
While ABS-CBN gets shut down, hold the government accountable for these issues too
Why you should stand with ABS-CBN
Don’t @ me: You can soon limit who replies to your tweets

Art by Nika Dizon


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