In the midst of the controversy involving celebrities being bullied by Twitter bashers or haters, celebrities gives their opinions about it in ABS-CBN’s Showbiz Inside Report. The talkshow also consulted some expert to know more about cyberbullying.
SIR host Joey Marquez interviewed a professor of University of the Philippines-College of Mass Communication, Atty. Marichu Lambino, who said that some people only uses the internet to hurt or bully other people. Sometimes, they just want to spread gossip or lies about other people that could ruin that person’s reputation. It is what we refer to as cyberbullying.
The most targeted people of cyberbullying nowadays are celebrities. They have a public image so people tend to be concerned on everything that they do. Recently, the most controversial celebrities that are being bashed by Twitter users are Sharon Cuneta, KC Concepcion, Lea Salonga and Zsa Zsa Padilla.
Some of the celebrities don’t take the bullies and haters seriously. However, there are persistent bullies that seem to make it a habit to bash the celebrities. With this kind of bullies, one can report them to authorities.
Several crimes involves the internet nowadays. Some use the social networking site (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) for their Modus Operandi. But the most common complain against internet users are those that scam and bash other people. Some also use it for estafa. Others use it to spread untruthful gossip about other people, in which case, can be complained for libel.
For crimes that are related to cyberworld, the National Bureau of Investigation have their unit called Computer Crime Unit (CCU). To know who is the person behind the cyberbullying, CCU Executive Officer Ferdinand Dagdag said that it can actually be traced. However, there is still no law against cyberbullying. They can only file a crime if the person is being threatened, based on the Revised Penal Code.
According to the Deputy House Speaker Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, the lawmakers are not taking some steps to protect people against bullying per se. But the bill for this is still pending in House of Representative.
SIR also asked the opinion of some celebs about cyberbullying and here are some of their takes.
“Ihanda mo ang sarili mo. Kung hindi ka handa ‘wag kang mag Twitter, ‘wag kang mag-Facebok. Tsaka sa Twitter may ‘block’ button naman eh. Block mo lang”. – Vice Ganda
“I block them. ‘Pag nagsalita ka pa, sasagot pa yan eh. Magkakaroon pa kayo ng discussion.” -Julius Babao
“Bilang artista, hindi mo naman maiiwasan ang haters or bashers eh. Yung iba, bino-block ko, tapos gumagawa naman ng ibang account. So what I do is I let them. May stop din naman eh. As long as wala naman akong ginagawang masama, ok lang, ganun talaga. We can’t please everybody.” -Melissa Ricks
“Dapat open ka rin na mapuna din ng iba. So, maging responsible ka lang.” -Erich Gonzales
“The moment you are in the social network, be ready for the game.” -Boy Abunda
SIR hosts Janice de Belen and Carmina Villaroel also shared their opinion about the matter.
“Kung type mong i-follow ang artista, i-follow mo. Kung ayaw mong i-follow, eh di wag (to Twitter users). Kung puro panlalait ang natatanggap mo at ayaw mong patulan, i-block mo. Kung gusto mong i-report, pwede mong i-report (to celebrities). Everything is a choice.” -Carmina Villaroel
“We must limit our transparency because sometimes if we are too transparent, it opens us to bashers.” -Janice de Belen
Although most celebrities nowadays prefer to be active in social media, some choose not to be in it. Some celebrities who want to keep their lives away from Twitter bashers are Toni Gonzaga, Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Robin Padilla, Sarah Geronimo, Judy Ann Santos and many more.
Cyberbullying can not only target celebrities, it can happen to anyone. So, maybe, the lawmakers and authorities should work even more harder in making and implementing the law that will protect the victims. As for all the Twitter users, please let us all be responsible in everything that we tweet. So what if you bully other people? You surely can’t gain from other people’s misery, can you? You have nothing to gain, and yet they may have everything to lose.