Hoaxes and PR Stunts On-Line : #MaramingNamamatySaMalingAkala

When the Telegraph was first introduced to a certain European Nation the first message was sent to all members of his Majesty’s Government and the message was just a sentence that read, Our schemes have been discovered … FLEE”. And on that day more than half of his Majesty’s Government went into voluntary exile. Technology is an interesting thing, in general, when introduced most users are optimistic; positive about its effect and almost a 100 % sure that it would be used for the Good of Society. Technology is colour blind when it comes to human morals and intent.The Press and now Social Media can be used as the voice of the people but also as the voice of Government and Big Business. The latest social media experiment with Bench and its Billboard ads reminds us of how the Internet, Social Media and Media can be used to influence public opinion.

The story around Bench and the Billboard started out as a story of how intolerant people can be and so far what has happened is that it has devolved into how a marketing stunt can ride on Advocacies, earning a backlash that has prompted Bench to issue a Public Statement and the mushrooming of Apologists both on Social Media and Media, which has been as effective as using a fibulator on a corpse.

What is interesting is how both Social Media and Media seemingly was hoodwinked by this marketing stunt? To be honest though in majority of statements/posts ample space was given to issue doubts and warnings about the marketing ploy. Still did no one in the big media organisations on-line check out the story and see through the ruse? And even more cruiser was who thought about this marketing ploy? Surely whoever thought about this should be given a Darwin Award or the local Kalabasa Trophy.

You reap what you sow.

Of course this would not be the first or last time people will try to fool or attempt to shape opinion. In no time there would be a new hoax; a new marketing gimmick; a new spin; and a new propaganda in the works.

So Friends, Just remember it pays to be skeptical of things you encounter in life on-line and off-line. Just remember what the Eraserheads said in one of there songs, “Marami ang namamatay sa maling akala”.

Brownman Revival cover of Malaking Akala

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