By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — “Resist the urge to engage them, report them, and block them.”
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said this is the three-point habit that
ordinary Filipinos can develop against internet trolls, while waiting
for Facebook and other social media platforms to crack down on them.
“We know trolls are financially and emotionally fueled by agitating
and getting a response from their targets. Denying them that fuel is a
good first step,” said Lacson, who has also encountered and dealt with
trolls on social media.
He added some signs of online trolls that ordinary Filipinos can look
out for may include:
- The person’s main Facebook profile has no activity; and usually has
a generic or unidentifiable profile photo
- Overly aggressive and/or condescending behavior, with targeted
offensive messages instead of reasonable arguments
- Use of ‘copy-paste’ or distinguishable patterns in their comments
- Use of fake news and/or twisted logic
- Sudden surge of ‘like-minded’ comments targeting and attacking one
who does not share their views
Earlier, Lacson said he has blocked from his Twitter account those who
are “out of topic, out of reason, and out of their mind – and whose
only happiness is to bash like a troll.” He had blocked over 2,000
accounts as of June 2021.
Lacson also backed Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III’s call to
Facebook Philippines to act against troll farms supposedly being set
up for the 2022 elections. Lacson earlier cited information reaching
him indicating that an undersecretary is organizing troll farms – two
in each province – in time for next year’s election.
“But as we wait for the companies concerned to take appropriate
action, it would be better for us to develop the habits that will deny
these trolls their prize,” he said. (ai/mtvn)