Political campaigns

What a relief! Political campaigns end at midnight – Manila Bulletin

At 12:01 a.m. sharp, May 8, 2022, all forms and semblance of campaigning must cease. Today’s snoozing of various candidates for national and local office is also due to end at that time, formally concluding the 150-day election period that began on January 9. How time flies ! And what a ride it has been.

Apart from the end of processions and rallies, there will be no more political advertisements on traditional media and social media platforms. No more roadblocks and unnecessary traffic. No more hanging posters and tarpaulins on trees and public spaces. And most importantly, there will be no more loud (and intrusive) campaign jingles that disrupted our sleep and disrupted our sanity.

But this conclusion is also a call for “order” because this year’s election campaign has been meaner, louder and wilder. In past election cycles, it was natural to have passionate supporters. What was alarming about this cycle, however, was the presence of rabid fans who, instead of defending their candidate’s platforms and qualifications, chose to drive the wedge further by sowing lies, misinformation and, worse, misinformation. Misinformation, as we should all know, is incorrect or misleading information presented as fact; while misinformation is more sinister as there is a deliberate attempt to mislead people and slander the opposition. Dirty campaigning, unfortunately, is a feature of our election campaigns, and this year 2022 has only proven that the situation is getting worse.

One of the factors behind this negative sentiment, according to election experts, is the reach of social media. It is a fact that social networks have their pros and cons. And in a hotly contested election, social media dominance is key to success. In a survey titled “We Are Social,” he noted the rise of internet users in the Philippines, especially during the pandemic. “There were 89 million social media users in the Philippines in 2021, an increase of 22% from 2020…those 89 million equate to nearly 80% of the population.” This was backed up by a study by UP political science professor Aries Arugay, who wrote: “Social media will play a prominent role in the campaign strategy of candidates in the 2022 elections due to the growing reliance from Filipinos to social media and face to face. – face restrictions associated with the pandemic.

Social media has its merits, but the free and unbridled space provided by various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube has been abused by disinformation “hackers” – the trolls that fill our computer screens. laptops and smartphones from “trash cans”. Even online platforms meant to be for entertainment such as TikTok have been filled in recent weeks with fake news, threatening messages and negative propaganda. It is now more difficult to distinguish between the real and the imaginary, between the real and the false, and between the useful and the harmful.

Due to massive misinformation online, factions are rising – opposing neighbors, classmates, parents, office workers. The negativity was so evident that there were public confrontations between strangers and cases pitting teachers against students, or even parents against their children. We can all be passionate about the candidates we plan to vote for on May 9, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about our timeless Filipino values ​​- respecting our elders, being cordial with our neighbors and being civil with strangers, that we meet them face to face or interact with them in the virtual world.

As the 2022 campaign season draws to a close, the Manila Bulletin joins the nation for a well-deserved “political break”. Tomorrow, May 8, is Mother’s Day, a reminder that no matter what happens to the political fates of our candidates, we can only pray that the best individual will soon lead our country, for their success is the tide that will bring fortune and opportunity to all of our families.