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TV and Digital are connected at the Hip and what this means for the 2013 Campaign and the Cybercrime Act

By on Sep 26, 2012 in Cybercrime Act, Featured, News, Speaking Engagements | 1 comment

I’ve been working in TV5 for almost two years now and this has given me a deeper appreciation for the relationship of TV and Digital, especially social media. If there’s one conclusion I can draw it’s that TV and Digital are connected at the hip. They are inseparable and as internet becomes more pervasive it doesn’t actually eat into the audience of TV but rather enhances the entire content consumption experience by adding interactivity. Symbiotic relationship of TV and Digital If there’s any profession that’s at par or even more connected to social media than digital marketers and social media managers, it’s journalism. Newsrooms have social media desks now whose sole responsibility is to gather news from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. They also follow influencers like celebrities, government agencies, and politicians. A tweet from one of these individuals or organizations is almost as good as a press release! Other than the social media desks, almost all reporters and news personalities are on social media as well. This unbreakable connection between News and Social Media completely shifts how Public Relations is done. It’s a push and pull relationship. News drives conversations on social media (TV as the catalyst, then audience responds via Twitter/FB/Blogs) and at the same time News culls what they can from social media and they feature it as content on their programs which air on TV. The amplification that happens is two-way. Each platform expands the audience of each other making it a symbiotic relationship between the two. A Case Study: “Sotto Plagiarism” To illustrate how this relationship works let’s take a look at how social media reacted to Senator Sotto when the plagiarism issue exploded. We plotted out how many times “Sotto Plagiarism” was mentioned on Twitter on a daily basis below. As it is you can already draw so many conclusions. It becomes much more interesting though if you plot out the key events that happened that drove the conversations. See below. Here’s how it happened in the context of the relationship of TV and Digital: – Senator Sotto delivers his speech on August 12 but conversations only took place on August 15 when the Filipino Freethinkers’ blog entry surfaced and picked up by the social media accounts of TV, Print, and Radio news teams (after vetting). – Conversations reach an all time high when Senator Sotto, during an interview with one of the most influential social media journalists Karen Davila, mentioned the killer phrase “Blogger lang yun”. It was obviously taken out of context by a lot of people but that’s irrelevant since the nature of social media is one that you cannot control. – Conversations keep going and when the chief-of-staff of Senator Sotto goes on media rounds and drops controversial replies, especially this one: “Copying is common practice in the Senate.” – Conversations spike again when Senator Sotto retaliates against his critics in his speech on TV. Throughout this timeline traditional media was informing the public using their mediums, expanding the reach of social media. At the same time TV drove the content and the conversation happening on social media. Listening and Analytics is CRITICAL for 2013 Campaign More than social media presence, a critical piece of digital strategy for the 2013 campaign is how politicians will do listening, monitoring, and analytics. Without a scientific and strategic approach to how they will listen, they will not be able to nip problems at the bud and these “small issues” can suddenly blow up in their faces when traditional media picks it up, features it, and gives the issue a nationwide audience. Listening and analytics will trump black operations. If you have solid monitoring you can find out plotted fake issues and address them quickly. When Senator Pia Cayetano was blamed for plagiarism as well all she needed to do to quash it and kill the issue was tweet a reply. How can you censor reactions? Here’s the thing that a lot of politicians don’t understand: you cannot control the internet, especially social media. The medium itself is all about conversations and reactions. It’s about commentary and opinon. That brings me to my last point. The Libel clause in the Cybercrime Act is a dated and irrelevant 80-year old law. It cannot simply be expanded to digital because it is second nature for people to react to current events and news items on Facebook and Twitter. We can probably create a specific law for Cyber Bullying and Online Defamation but to simply “copy-paste” the Libel clause in the Cybercrime Act goes against the very spirit of the law (which was meant to curb Cybersex, child pornography, hacking, etc.) and the nature of social media. As long as there is TV, Radio, and Print, there will be conversations about contentious issues and topics on social media. It’s the public’s way to react and respond. It’s their way of saying if a certain politician is doing a good job or not. Yes, sometimes some people go overboard and maybe those extreme cases are the ones that should be included in the revised defamation clause but anything less than that infringes on our fundamental right to express...

Cybercrime Act a hot topic during the Social Good Summit

By on Sep 23, 2012 in Cybercrime Act, Random Remarks | 0 comments

The Cybercrime Act was one of the topics that dominated the open forum of the Social Good Dialogue and Summit yesterday at the Greenbelt MyCinema and AIM Conference Hall. It was the proverbial “elephant in the room” since only a few speakers touched on it but you could feel that the audience wanted them to discuss it. Personally I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask Undersecretary Manolo Quezon III his thoughts about it during the morning session and he was game enough to do so. Manolo shared that debates on the Cybercrime Act were important and that it’s the first step in a process. The implementing rules and regulations have yet to be fleshed out and he confirmed that Senator Guingona is planning to challenge the bill and have some parts of it amended. Later on in the afternoon session at the actual Summit, the Cybercrime Act popped up again in the open forum and this time at the hot seat was Secretary Ricky Carandang and Secretary Mon Jimenez. Unfortunately the answer Secretary Carandang gave was a bit vague but he did confess that he hasn’t read up much on the bill yet. The real highlight though was when cyberbully victim Chris Lao started to talk about the Cybercrime Act. He took up the cudgels for the bill and even lauded the higher penalties on online libel compared to other mediums like print and TV. Initially I was shocked that the poster boy for the Freedom of Information Bill (which at it’s core is about freedom) was supporting the Cybercrime Act. However I eventually understood that this guy was really speaking from the heart and what he was saying was really shaped by his experience as a victim. I probably would have been swayed to flip and support the bill but I’ve also heard testimonials from innocent people who were sued for libel and had to go through hell as well. Here’s the big lesson about the Cybercrime Act: there has to be balance. Cyber bulling has to be clearly defined as well so that it can be identified (maybe make it a specific offense different from online defamation). We need to protect both sides and hopefully we will see more amendements soon. Manolo is spot on that the debate truly is important but what’s even more critical is how we take part in...