Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI) Convenor Tonyo Cruz reiterated the importance of using Social Media responsibly to serve and initiate genuine change to the attendees of the Diocese of Novaliches Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC Nova) Youth in Mission Forum Series held at St. Peter Parish Shrine of Leaders, Q.C. last March 28, 2019.
“It is possible to use Social Media and the Internet in serving (God) and in (initiating) change,” Cruz said in Filipino, adding many instances that put emphasis on Social Media as an effective tool in calling citizen action like the times major typhoons visited the country.
Other situations were concerted efforts to protest misuse of government funds and abusive labor practices of a manufacturing firm.
“Social Media was used to get donations for relief goods such that friends from abroad sent help,” he shared. “The Internet was instrumental in knowing their needs.”
Cruz, however, lamented that some people and political parties have weaponized Social Media to proliferate fake news and disinformation to dissuade people. Examples of this, he said, were information to “legitimize killings and human rights abuses, spread fake news against critics, and openly merge with Marcos loyalists.”
“The existence of the Internet is not the problem. The medium is not the problem, it’s with the sender and the message,” he declared. He then defined fake news through a spectrum of content, from those that are completely false to those manipulated and impersonating genuine sources.
Sharing the three laws of news reporting, he cautioned, “(We) need to be discerning. Accuracy, accuracy and accuracy.”
In conclusion, Cruz encouraged his audience to use social media to share beautiful stories about their respective communities and parishes. The BEC Nova Youth in Mission Forum Series is a monthly formation series launched in celebration of the Year of the Youth. (~Lulu Reclusado-Nario)