Viral act of kindness sparks doubts on social media

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019   •   1044

“Kindness is not lost,” ÅcdhiRr Ailnv Diaz wrote on his Facebook post.

His post went viral with 197,000 reactions and 50,000 shares after he shared a story of a man suffering from Leukemia.

In his post, Diaz said he saw a man getting wheeled in by guards inside the train. He noticed that the guy was in pain whenever the train moves.

Another passenger approached the guy.

“In a weak voice he was apologetic thinking he was causing an odd scene, or causing discomfort by his presence,” Diaz said.

Later they found out the guy has stage 3 Leukemia. He was on his way to seek help from a media company to pay for his medical examination.

Passengers from that part of the train began chipping in P100 pesos.

“Before we reached the next station he had enough money for the lab test he needed, plus food and fare. The guys at the back called for a guard for assistance so he could go back to MaDocs [Manila Doctors Hospital],” Diaz recalled.

However, some netizens are claiming the guy was a fake and was only doing it for the money.

According to some netizens, the guy’s Leukemia story was just a fabrication and is only a part of his ‘budol-budol’ scheme. One netizen recalled a similar story.

But according to Diaz, he doesn’t have the capability to further investigate on the matter. He was just sharing what he saw and experienced.

“What I believe I shared was my experience of #Bayanihan, of people coming together to help someone in need. That is all I can say about that,” Diaz said.—AAC

MRT-3 to operate at reduced capacity as COVID-19 cases in depot rise to 127

Maris Federez   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The MRT management will limit the number of trains in operation starting July 6.

This after a number of its personnel tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), bringing the total of positive cases to 127, a Department of Transportation (DOTr) advisory said.

Initial report said the 127 cases consist of 124 Sumitomo Depot personnel and 3 MRT-3 Depot personnel who will be placed under mandatory quarantine and medication.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said that with the guidance of the IATF-EID and upon the advice of Sumitomo-MHI, MRT-3 will be able to continue operations, with the possibility of reducing capacity or with fewer trains.

“Sumitomo requested to discuss on a day-by-day basis the level of operations that they can sustain as results of the mass swab testing continue to be released. In the meantime, Sumitomo advised that they are able to continue with operations to service MRT-3’s tens of thousands of passengers, although at a reduced level,” said Usec Batan.

“While we try to do our best to keep the same maintenance performance through this week, we would like to discuss with DOTr MRT3 office day by day, how much maintenance level we would be able to keep, in view of the number of COVID-19 infected people,” said Masanori Honda of Sumitomo.

The advisory also said that “to augment MRT-3’s further reduced capacity due to the quarantine of some of its depot personnel, DOTr will be boosting its Bus Augmentation Program and EDSA Busway service, in coordination with the DOTr Road Sector, LTFRB, and MMDA.”

“Per guidance of the IATF-EID, additional measures and precautions will be taken during MRT-3’s reduced operations, including requiring full PPE for stations and depot personnel, limiting movement of depot personnel to their immediate areas of responsibility, increased disinfection activities, and heightened monitoring and screening of symptoms among all personnel,” the advisory further read.

Meanwhile, MRT reminds the public that it will suspend operation on July 4 and 5 to give way to their rail replacement activities. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

Big companies boycott Facebook

UNTV News   •   June 30, 2020

A long list of U.S. companies have pulled advertising from Facebook in support of a campaign that called out the social media giant for not doing enough to stop hate speech on its platforms.

Ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, consumer conglomerate Unilever, and coffee chain Starbucks have nixed ads on the social media network.

And PepsiCo will do so as well, FOX Business News reported citing sources on Sunday (June 28).

The halt on PepsiCo’s advertising will run through July and August, the report said.

PepsiCo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Annually, Facebook generates $70 billion in advertising sales and about a quarter of it comes from big companies such as Unilever with the vast majority of its revenue derived from small businesses.

But the publicity around its hate speech policies have hurt its perception and stock.

On Friday (June 26), Facebook’s 8.3% decline in stock price wiped out $56 billion in market capitalization.

Responding to demands for more action, Facebook on Sunday acknowledged it has more work to do and is teaming up with civil rights groups and experts to develop more tools to fight hate speech.

Facebook said its investments in artificial intelligence have allowed it to find 90% of hate speech before users report it.

The boycott has accelerated to include other digital advertising platforms, such as Twitter. REUTERS

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Facebook closes political ads loophole ahead of U.S. presidential election

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

Facebook Inc. said on Tuesday (June 17) it would affix labels to political ads shared by users on their own feeds, closing what critics have said for years was a glaring loophole in the company’s election transparency measures.

The world’s biggest social network has attached a “paid for by” disclaimer to political ads since 2018, after facing a backlash for failing to stop Russia from using its platforms to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

But the label disappeared once people shared the ads to their own feeds, which critics said undermined its utility and allowed misinformation to continue spreading unchecked.

Facebook introduced a similar labelling approach for state news media earlier this month, but that label also sometimes drops off with sharing and does not appear when users post their own links to those outlets.

The company has been facing demands to do more to combat false viral information before the Nov. 3 presidential election, including by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who called Facebooks’s chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on June 11 to reverse his decision to exempt political ads from fact-checking.

Zuckerberg has touted transparency tools in response, arguing that voters should be able to examine statements from would-be political leaders unimpeded.

In a USA Today op-ed on Tuesday, he pledged to display a Voting Information Center at the top of U.S. users’ news feeds. He also said the company would aim to help 4 million people register to vote, double its goal for 2016. (Reuters)

(Production: Paul Warren, Gabriela Boccaccio)

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