15 April 2016, 11:30 pm – WITH JUST a few weeks before the May 9 polls, Thomasians were urged to be wary of propaganda thrown against election candidates.

Broadcast journalist Cherie Mercado warned Thomasian voters against the prevalence of propaganda during the campaign.
“I believe that you can never really know a person, even if it’s that close to you. What more a candidate?” Mercado said in an election forum at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. building last April 15.
Mercado said voters should choose a candidate with moral convictions. “The first thing you should consider is [if] mabuti ba siyang tao,” she said.
Voters should also look at a candidate’s track record, stand on issues, affiliations, source of campaign funding, campaign advertisements and strategies, and whether or not they have pending court cases. 
Joseph Ubalde, content manager of online platform News5 Everywhere, stressed the importance of filtering social media content about candidates.
“Not everything you see in social media is true. It’s also a vehicle for black propaganda,” he said.
Ubalde said some candidates hire people to create dummy accounts on Facebook to “troll” their opponents.
“Troll” is an internet slang used to describe a person who deliberately starts arguments in an online community by posting provocative content or messages.
“The power of social media is so strong that campaign funds are being [used] to make it appear that a candidate is the winningest online,” he said. “It can also be fueled to dismantle a candidate.”
Ubalde encouraged Thomasians to do their own research on their preferred candidates.
“Social media is just one option [to source information about candidates]. It may be the loudest but it’s not the only option you have,” he said.
The forum was part of the campus tour of Bilang Pilipino, TV5 network’s voter education campaign in partnership with Aktiboto, the University-wide election advocacy initiative. It was hosted by TV5 weather anchor Lia Cruz. Paul Xavier Jaehwa C. Bernardo


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