Politics

Siphoning Political Livestreams: It’s A Post-Truth Thing

[Dedicated to Ralph Domingo]

LAST WEDNESDAY, the Senate probe on purveying fake news was a newsworthy story for the digitally savvy millenials in the toughest political age.

Mocha Uson in the Senate

Mocha Uson was grilled before the Senate last Wednesday for proliferating and purveying fake news.

In the said hearing, the senators, especially Nancy Binay, grilled Presidential Communications Office Assistance Secretary Mocha Uson and RJ Nieto (the webmaster of Thinking Pinoy) for proliferating disinformation and degrading opposition politicians while serving in their respective government positions. Other personalities present were Atty. Abigail Valte (the deputy spokesperson of predecessor Noynoy Aquino) and few representatives from the legitimate media.

The next hearing over the said topic will be announced later.

Being a legislative hearing of interest, livestreams from media outlets will definitely be the part of the drill. Anyone connected from social media will notify you real-time.

For its diehard supporters, it was an opportunity to siphon such sources and claim it as theirs without proper attribution.

Whenever some are so busy with important things throughout the day but they want to know what really happened to the country, they can simply search on to YouTube and voila!

Its search engine, the terms you input might land on diehard pro-administration YouTube channels than those from legitimate media outlets and that is a serious business.

How to spot a YouTube video from a die hard?

While fake news sites are obstructed through third-party web browser extensions, its YouTube channels, sadly, are not and thus, are definitely shareable in most social media platforms. However, it’s not difficult to spot a YouTube video that was created from a diehard supporter. Here are the five common signs.

Screenshot (38)

A screenshot of the famous Senate hearing last Wednesday. Look at Rappler’s (a verified YouTube channel); compare that to Tawanan at Balita PH or other similar channels.

  • The custom thumbnail abuse. This feature is one of the primary ways of deception. They take a screenshot, paste it on a graphics software, add some WordArt and it’s all set for publishing.
  • The loudmouth title. Most searches in caps lock (LIKE THIS ONE) in order to provoke and to grab their attention. The titles were usually defending pro-administration officials and shaming the opposition. Adding “PANOORIN” is not necessary but it is a decisive factor for their view count.
  • The consistent description structure. Most of the video descriptions usually follow the same structural formula as with their related uploads. That also includes the lack of any proper attribution.
  • The channel is not verified. A verified YouTube channel are those with a check mark and the prerequisite: they must have at least 100,000 subscribers. Thus, pro-administration channels might not reach that number and consequently, might not be verified.
  • The video content usually includes the titles. They are usually located at the top and/or bottom (in the letterbox format) or lower graphics (intentionally obscuring those from media outlets) rendered from their desktop-based non-linear editing software.

Aren’t they supposed to be prosecuted for infringement or are they exonerated and called it a legal piracy with state-sponsored blessing? This is where BusinessWorld’s article last November drives us now. Whatever they have done was credulous or simply in Filipino, nauto.

The Turf’s Insight

Siphoning off content from legitimate media organizations (such as ANC, GMA, Rappler, Inquirer, CNN Philippines, etc.) is somehow an indirect way of delegitimizing and discrediting its professional journalists in order to pursue their absolutist agenda without any checks and senses of right or wrong and to undermine his political opposition as “enemies of the state” with all their minds, hearts and souls.

Sadly, their eyes that were dictated by hasty generalizations, treated the press, which is considered the fourth estate, at par with terrorists (like the Maute Group) as the “enemy of the state.”

As mentioned last November, the culture of impunity did not just happen the traditional outside of goons, guns and gold but also in the cyberspace with keyboards, trolls and coins. Well, a study in Mexico finally holds true as our country was ranked worst over-all in such terms in their Global Impunity Index report from Universidad De Las Americas.

Think about it. According to Reporters without Borders (RSF), the Philippines is ranked 127th of 180 in the 2017 Press Freedom Index, which is situated at the “difficult situation.”  Given the social media age and the current circumstances, where will our country – that is significantly contributed to the global post-truth era – land in a few years that we asked and deserved?


P.S. For those readers in the United States who happened to have the same sentiment, you’re not alone.


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Photo courtesy of the Philippine Star. Screenshot grabbed by the author.

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In Light of IBC 13 Privatization Attempt, Few Rooster Shows Fly Out but UCBL Tips On

DURING THE DELIBERATIONS of the 2018 Budget for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) last August 15 in the House of Representatives, Undersecretary George Apacible told the solons that privatization process of the beleaguered Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) would begin next month with the bidding price of P 4.2 billion.

According to his superior, Secretary Martin Andanar, the net proceeds – after paying unsettled obligations such as taxes to BIR and the aggregate (current, separation & retirement) pay to employees – would go to the pending People’s Broadcasting Corporation that will supervise both PTV and PBS (Radyo Pilipinas) radio stations.

While most concerned netizens are excited for the fifth attempt (according to their count) to materialize since sequestration but for the Turf, we’re still doubtful about that.

Speaking of which, the movement of IBC 13’s programming shifted in light of the very long persistent pronouncement.

 

Few sabong shows fly out

Whenever we think of IBC 13 today and not of the golden age that triggers yearning nostalgia (from the 1970s until 2003), it is mostly composed of vast nothingness but a sea of home shopping, infomercials, and cockfighting.

Due to the aforementioned impact, three sabong shows: the consistently returning Thunderbird Sabong Nation, Bakbakan Na and the oldest running Tukaan were affirmed to leave the channel.

In Bakbakan Na’s Facebook page, their loyal fans sought it as a good measure as they weren’t able to receive the program due to the signal reduction since March but from the perspective of the outgoing channel, it’ll be a loss of their sustaining income.

While Sabong Nation came back in S+A, Bakbakan Na and Tukaan will premiere on its new home on TV5 this weekend.

The remaining cockfighting programs are Chicken Talk, Salpukan 360 & STV: Ang Sabong TV ng Bayan.

A new season tips off

UCBL 2 Contract Signing

SEALED THE DEAL. UCBL President Franklin Evidente, ACA Raise President Josephine Arboleda and ATC Executive Vic de Guzman placed their right hands after signing the contacts for the new season of IBC’s sole college basketball league tipping off this week.

On the bright side, the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) will return to Old Balara for its second season Thursday (September 7) in partnership through Asian Television Content (ATC).

This new season will debut a new team, the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) – Batangas, which is somehow following the footsteps of the sister campus in Intramuros in NCAA. The young collegiate league did not only admit a new school but also admitted a new marketer, ACA Raise, in order to cover all games as possible.

While some things are new, other elements remain the same — from the same venue (Olivarez College), to the same league frequency (Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays) and to the same delayed primetime telecast (from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight).

Program comebacks

Other programs that went back since the last time the Turf tackled about IBC were Gabay at Aksyon (possibly from PTV’s massive, hyper-partisan overhaul last June) and Fr. Archie Guiriba’s Shalom. If the two shows came back, amidst the difficulty of the falling network in all aspects, then, it would really be nice if Ka Gerry Geronimo’s Ating Alamin would also make their return to this network after eight years.

That being said and whatever the events will happen, the all-out surveillance still lingers on over the embattled Broadcast City upon Capitol Hills as we will continue to keep update here on Timow’s Turf.


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Photo courtesy of UCBL Universities and Colleges Basketball League official Facebook page

 

The Turf’s Guide to 2018 Philippine Holidays

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN!

Timow’s Turf is returning back to herald the tradition where everybody is looking forward to: the nationwide holidays for the upcoming year.

President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 269, dated last Monday, for the official nationwide holidays for 2018.

The timing’s a bit earlier than the usual but it’s all worthwhile for employees to file their vacation leaves as early — and as maximum — as possible.

Travel bloggers will seize this opportunity to showcase and to assess their trips. Non-travel, specialty bloggers like this one and From the Tube could use these days when they will not post any content.

The Turf will not present the holidays in a standard post like in the past years but on a slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Insights

Some ka-DDS failed to push for the repeal of February 25 and August 21 as official holidays. As I said for last year, such moves are not a priority measure.

 

ImmaCon.jpg

The Immaculate Conception’s feast day (December 8) — despite a Catholic holy day of obligation for the Philippines — is not yet a holiday.

 

Regarding the status of December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, as a special non-working holiday, the news so far — according to Manila Bulletin last May, it was approved in the House of Representatives in all three readings. They need to be passed in the Senate with the same process and then, the signature of the President to become an official law.


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Photo credit: Cheryl Baldicantos / MANILA BULLETIN

Slideshow: Made by the author using PowerPoint 2016

Anyare sa Ating Alamin? (and How the Palakasan System Killed It)

Kabayan, kilala mo ba siya? Ang palabas niya’y isa ring biktima rin ng sistema ng palakasan.

[This post is dedicated to Team ex-PTV & former Philippine Broadcasting Service talents.]

LAST JUNE, as People’s Television (PTV) dressed anew, one of its personalities was axed after 11 years. Ms. Kathy San Gabriel was fired through a text message without giving her the chance to say goodbye in front of the camera.

Her colleagues on the firm went on different approaches: Xiao Chua (who was given the sack with honor two months before) comforted her over the unprofessional dismissal and called on justice through different social media platforms. Snow Badua triggered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the network two years ago (between him and Alberto Marbella) and harangued insanely all over Facebook and Twitter. Atty. JJ Jimeno-Atienza kept hushed, as she is not much in the spotlight. However, Kirby Cristobal resigned quietly and voluntarily prior to the publicized scandal. In his resignation letter, he exposed the hunch that the internal “palakasan” system was revived within Visayas Avenue’s workplace culture.

This gave the Turf the reason to reflect Cristobal’s exposé but it will focus on one of the TV programs than the personalities of the station for another case.

Look at the example of Ating Alamin – the 36-year-old agricultural, livelihood and entrepreneurial show that crisscrossed four TV networks by Adolfo “Ka Gerry” R. Geronimo. How is the show now and how it became a victim of the palakasan culture?

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Timow’s Open Pit #1: SONA 2017

pdu30-sona

President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his second State of the Nation Address next Monday, July 24.

ON JULY 24, President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City.

As the name implies, this political event will be about the conditions that transpired around the country and after a year since he delivered in his dais in the plenary hall last year, everything happened faster than we can ever imagine. (more…)

Xiao Time to bow out of PTV

Historian Xiao Chua aired the 639th episode of Xiao Time on PTV earlier this afternoon and this evening. At that moment, the network’s management announced the segment pullout after four and a half years.

HISTORIAN and ACADEMICIAN Michael Charleston Briones Chua a.k.a. Xiao Chua will bow out of PTV without anticipation after 641 editions of his Xiao Time segment on PTV News this week.

Announced Tuesday, he respected the decision of the pullout from the network’s management. His current episode was the history of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a run-up to its summit — being as a host country for the region’s Golden Jubilee — in Metro Manila this weekend.

Xiao Time was given a lease from Channel 4 on their afternoon and evening news program — as News @ 1 and News @ 6 — during the latter half of the (Noynoy) Aquino administration. Not only a patch of their respective newscasts can he be seen, he was also a guest presenter with Kathy San Gabriel during the live commemoration of historical events (e.g. Araw ng Kalayaan, Rizal Day, etc.) during the said presidency.

His unexpected news after four and a half years coincidentally happened on the same part of the day the Supreme Court handed down the unexpected ruling, favoring the continuation of construction of Torre de Manila. The controversial building that obstructed the skyline of the Rizal Park in Luneta was the center of attention after a few years of standoff between his Knights of Rizal and the erring construction company, DMCI.

Xiao has no hard feelings on what considered to be his double whammy today and this week. What comes on his future after PTV will be his choice in life — whether completing graduate studies, teaching in universities, holding seminars or creating an online series — and it must be respected.

In this post-truth era, TV enthusiasts and critics are now questioning what comes next for Visayas Avenue and their news departments as the vacant slot might be used in favor of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s lackeys and facts, arising from science and history, are deemed irrelevant in shaping up public policy and how to present them like Xiao did as academicians are in the crosshairs by irrational and wild fanatics in the social media ready to be shot down.

Who knows?


And that was the makasaysayang story of Xiao Time. *mic drop*

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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN News

Mocha’s radio show gets suspended over insult vs. VP Leni

mocha-uson

Mocha Uson faced suspension over her remarks against Vice President Leni Robredo last Sunday on her radio show on DZRH.

REAP what you show, este, sow.

Social media mavens heed this advice to Mocha Uson after her radio-TV program last Sunday (March 18) on DZRH was suspended for her malicious comment against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The 34-year-old entertainer turned apologist-propagandist of President Rodrigo Duterte and recently, an MTRCB board member berated the second highest official — as she does habitually over social media — on her eponymous weekly commentary show.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jozy Acosta-Nisperos, head of the civil society group The Silent Majority — which supported the Roxas-Robredo campaign last year, filed the complaint. The group pointed out in a formal letter that Uson went out of bound of decency.

The correspondence excerpted her red-handed remark:

“’Kasi nga sinungaling ka at fake news ka… Huwag mong araw-arawin ang katangahan mo! Expletive (bleeped out)… Bumili ka ng utak! … Nakakahawa na yang katangahan mo … Sobra lang talagang nakakagalit ang kabobohan ng babae na to…’ ” (You are a liar and a bearer of fake news. Don’t share your stupidity every day! Buy a brain! Your stupidity is infectious. It made me irritated over her stupidity.)

In addition, Uson again attacked the mainstream media as “presstitutes” because they care about “getting paid rather than contributing positively to the country.”

The letter pointed out the 2007 Broadcast Code of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) that Uson is liable for violating certain provisions, particularly Article 2: Analysis and Commentaries.

“Sec. 2. Public affairs programs and commentaries shall be handled only by persons who have thorough knowledge of and practice broadcast ethics.

“Sec. 4. Public affairs programs shall strive to elicit responsible views on public issues, concerns and events from all sectors of society.

Uson’s timing to berate her was in response of her video message on the ‘palit-ulo’ scheme during the running war on drugs that will be presented to the United Nations and in the light of filing an impeachment case against President Duterte by Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano. His case focused on corruption, betrayal of public trust and treason, where the latter has a recent emphasis over Benham Rise in the eastern seaboard of Luzon where he persistently downplay the maritime case to ease ties with its hegemonic claimant and rival, China.

Vice President Robredo, despite her criticism, repeatedly denied the plans to oust him as a form of “destabilization plot.”

That being said, Uson should realize her mistake before she will make the Elizalde ancestors spin in their graves if she does it again. Then, how can we teach her a lesson if she’ll rant over back in her comfort zone to serve her suspension?

As Ymman Jake Biaco thought, it would be humiliated if their owner, Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC), and their staff were called out by the KBP (since one of them is in heading the association) and they might impose a heavy sanction over this issue — though not necessarily a revocation of membership.


Anong masasabi mo, mga ka-TTS (Timow’s Turf supporters)?

Angel vs Mocha.gif


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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN and Giphy.com

Thoughts on Madam Secretary’s new episode

[This post is dedicated to Kevin Trinidad who is in Singapore and to all the women readers as today’s International Women’s Day.]

Madam Secretary s3e15

BEFORE GOING TOO FAR. President Datu Andrada (Joel de la Fuente) and US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord made an intimate call. Initially, she thought it lightly before hitting him back when he goes too far with the uncomfortable innuendos. This scene was made controversial in the embassy in Washington and the Palace because of the similarities with the real President.

THIS SUNDAY night in the United States — Monday morning here in the Philippines — CBS political thriller Madam Secretary will air a fresh episode but one of its scenes will be provocative.

The synopsis of the series, now on its third season, focuses on testing the waters of countries with diplomatic relations of America, led by Téa Leoni as US Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord.

In our television sphere, Madam Secretary currently holds rights on its second season on both 2nd Avenue on RJTV 29 and Sony Entertainment Television on cable.

In the clip of the new episode, titled “Break in Diplomacy” (s3e15), the lecherous yet fictitious Philippine President Datu Andrada (portrayed by Joel de la Fuente) is alone with the Secretary in a room similar to one in Malacañang. The diplomat initially laughs off at uncomfortable advances from the leader of an important treaty ally but when he quips too far, she snaps, punches him on the face and leaves him a bloodied nose.

With that description, the Philippine embassy in Washington cried foul and the Palace condemned it because the fictitious President was embodied into the actual President, Rodrigo Duterte. The fanatics would backlash this act, would call the show’s cast and producers with persona non grata and would demand an apology.

However, that’s not the only case of national outrage over an American TV series, remember that episode of Desperate Housewives (ABC) regarding the qualification and quality of our country’s medical degrees eight years ago?

For there are people who are fumed, others refute or don’t mind at all.

The President’s harshest critics in social media will feast — have their field day — over the episode and will treat it as a keepsake. Some remarks would say that “art imitates life” and “truth hurts.” A common advice would be given to the complaining bandwagon to take it with a “grain of salt”iodized salt that is.

Perhaps, for principled women who are celebrating their universal day today, a lesson behind the episode can be learned from that clip: “Misogyny should have no place in this world, especially in politics.”

Once this current season ends in May, it’s up to the cable channels if this episode will be accepted if they secure the broadcast rights on that season for the viewers who missed or wanted to watch this series.


P.S.: To Mr. Sunday, instead of nagging your favorite day over Twitter, why not watch that episode and make a judgment out of it?


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Photo courtesy of: Rappler.com/David M. Russell/CBS

On Presidential Spotlight and IBC 13’s Lackluster Simulcast

This 2017, IBC 13 barely simulcast any Presidential activities.

This 2017, IBC 13 barely simulcast any Presidential activities. Could this be a sign of long overdue privatization?

THE TURF’s neighboring blog, From the Tube, published last Wednesday about the priority spotlight of the Presidency that disrupts the other supposed co-equal branch of Government, specifically the legislative (i.e. Congress). It did in few instances since last September.

The article was published as part of the 30th anniversary of our Constitution last week. That’s the same organic document President Duterte wanted to be revised mostly or replaced entirely from the unitary internal governance to federal. But then, Ralph would say, “It’s unintentional.”

Looking deeper, despite being 1/3 of the supposed independent and co-equal branches of government, we perceived the Presidency to be powerful or nearly absolute. Perhaps, contemporary history did establish that permanent notion — the most expansive inherited from Marcos. That said, the concept of checks and balances explicitly enshrined in the supreme law is good on paper.

On that piece, the YouTube streaming links to elected branches of government are provided. Unknowingly, such streams are used by die-hard fanatics to make a spin against their critics (read: enemies of change) through devising a sensationalized title and abusing the custom thumbnail and upload them as their own for raking and training in gullible netizens.

For seven months now, we’re familiar and enduring with the President’s profanity-laced and off-scripted remarks that are integrated within his engagements ranging from afternoon to midnight and the audience applauded and laughed over it without thinking too deeply and swarm their unconditional loyalty over the Facebook comment section.

Online streaming reactions and analysis aside, this also bothered the Turf about a particular progress of a still state-owned media outlet.

PTV doesn’t need further explanation as they’re the paragon of the unpredictable presidential priority for 43 years. Her sister, IBC, no longer simulcast his engagements recently as they go with their lousy home shopping programming either from EZ Shop or Shop TV (formerly Value Vision). It puzzled much if the privatization process is completed or not without any notice. One thing’s for sure, it’s the cost — aside from unpredictability — of simulcast that became the motivating factor after realizing the lackluster financial standing and performance in Old Balara.

Like Visayas Avenue’s news department, News Team 13 favors the President no matter what criticisms are thrown with an abysmal newscasting minutiae: no live reports, no phone patches, no virtual broadcast design/graphic. No wonder IBC’s always behind on news delivery and social media reach; it’s unsurprising why it’s snubbed from the public’s psyche and forum. Perhaps, that’s the reason why Media Newser Philippines never mentioned anything from them.

When it comes to digital television transition (DTT), the Turf barely heard PTV’s progress — save the roll-out with the partnership of Japan’s NEC but for Channel 13, it’s a totally lost cause. The Broadcast City case is already mentioned here last August that doesn’t need any reiteration.

In the era where alternative facts reign, pro-administration trolls and blind supporters have been enjoying their field day but for most of us including fence sitters awaiting their realization of collapse to complain, what a time to be alive.


“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” 

~Napoleon Bonaparte


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Philippine Television in the World of “Posts”

Mocha Uson's membership on MTRCB incited cringe and disgrace over social media.

Mocha Uson’s membership on MTRCB incited cringe and disgrace over social media.

(Requested by Bryan Calvin. If you’re him, please read the italics after the context.)

POST-TRUTH. That was the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year last year and we’re just getting started to live with it.

In post-truth, evidences, grievances, merits and morals no longer matter in shaping up policies and/or selecting people whether big as in a government or small as in a television network. Expect some neologisms ahead that begin with the prefix, post-.

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