As we monitor Facebook pages and groups dedicated to Philippine television and radio, it is unavoidable that we will encounter hoaxes, such as this one:
(name of the person withheld as to protect his identity)
First of all, there is no truth to these and will largely be impossible in the real world setting.
- Viva is mostly unlikely to return to free TV as it has a strong partnership with the established major networks
- Any attempt by Sony or Fox International Channels will likely violate existing laws and regulations regarding media ownership unless partnering with a local content provider (which is still highly improbable)
We have refuted this, yet there are still people who are bound to believe this, and posts like these are being shared, sadly, by those kids with special needs with a keen interest in media.
In light of these, there has to be a mutual effort to avoid the spread of hoaxes like these by:
- Parental guidance: the parents must control those kids’ access to the internet or computers and reminding them of consequences of their actions
- Vetting of posts for moderators of threads and pages
- For those on the verge of believing the hoax, remind them these are not true
- Ask them to stop without resorting to bullying
These are among the solutions we can think of, but this will be a long term effort, an exercise of responsibility in a world cluttered by fake news, toxic debates, among others.