YouTube prank backfires, leaves Filipino employee in tears
Aileen Cerrudo • May 16, 2019 • 12613
“You’re fired,” YouTuber Lauren Love told Maria Leones, a Filipino employee. “Because I don’t appreciate you walking around here. You’re supposed to be at the cashier, cashing people out.”
“I have been here for six years…” Maria replied, almost in tears. “I’ve been doing my job very well and I’ve been regarded as employee of the month.”
Maria Leones has been working at Walmart for six years.
She moved to the United States from the Philippines to be closer to her children. She works at a 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift as a cashier at Walmart in order to pay for the medical expenses of her husband. Her 43-year-old husband recently had a quadruple bypass due to a heart attack.
Lauren Love is a YouTuber with over a hundred thousand subscribers in her solo channel. Her other channel has over a million subscribers.
For one of her contents in her solo channel, Lauren pretended to be a Walmart high-ranking corporate manager who would be firing random employees.
Maria was one of them.
According to a TV report, Maria felt humiliated and powerless during the prank. Upon hearing that she was fired, all that she could think of was her husband.
“At that moment, I thought about my husband,” Maria said during the TV interview. “Back home I had a very good reputation because I’m a professor.”
Upon seeing Maria in tears, Lauren immediately apologized. She told Maria that it was all a prank and she was not really fired.
Meanwhile, Walmart released a statement banning Lauren from all of their stores and called on YouTube to take down the said prank video.
“Our associates work hard every day to serve our customers. They do a fantastic job, deserve better than being subjected to such disrespect, and will continue to have our full support,” their statement reads.
Lauren posted another video apologizing for the incident. The prank video was also removed from YouTube.
A new breed of OPM singer-songwriters is about to hit the digital space.
On September 29, Wish 107.5 is set to premiere “Wishcovery Originals” on its YouTube channel. Serving as the third edition of the radio station’s online talent search, the show aims to discover and give a platform to aspiring Filipino artists who can both perform and compose their own songs.
“What we’re looking for right now is a singer and composer. We want, this time, the composer to express his feelings through songs that he himself wrote,” Kuya Daniel Razon, the creator of the competition and the main man behind Wish 107.5, remarked in a previous statement.
The first two seasons of the show focused on the singing prowess of the contenders.
Series of Eliminations
Touting a brand-new concept for Wishcovery, Wish 107.5 is on a mission to scout, introduce, and hone promising music makers in the country. It opened its auditions last June and has since received hundreds of entries from singing-songwriting acts online and via the Wish 107.5 Bus.
Out of these hopefuls, only a select few will have the chance to showcase their talent and songs on the competition proper.
After the program’s pilot episode — which is dedicated to giving the audience a walkthrough of what to expect throughout the show’s run — a series of weekly and monthly eliminations will take place.
Every Sunday, four contenders will battle it out on the weekly eliminations, the winners of which will advance to the monthly finals. Featuring a brand-new song for this stage, the top contender will earn a spot in the grand finals and a cash prize worth Php 20,000.
For the weekly battles, the scores will solely come from the panel of judges, which includes Mayonnaise frontman Monty Macalino, the country’s King of R&B Jay R, and veteran hitmaker-producer Jungee Marcelo.
For the monthly eliminations, the judges will only take up 75 percent of the total scores. The remaining 25 percent will come from the power-viewing statistics of the contenders’ Wish Bus performances to be uploaded on a dedicated platform for these videos, the Wishcovery YouTube channel.
Despite this fierce competition, exciting rewards await the grand winner of the show.
As in the previous editions of Wishcovery, Wish 107.5 will give a whopping set of prizes for the show’s grand champion — Php 1 million in cash, a recording contract worth Php 1 million, a brand-new car, and a house and lot.
Follow the journey of aspiring Filipino singer-songwriters and hear new OPM songs on Wishcovery Originals! The show, which will air every Sunday on Wish 107.5’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/wish1075official), will premiere on September 29. Meanwhile, full videos of the contenders’ Wish Bus performances will be available on the Wishcovery YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2kJ4Oyn).
MANILA, Philippines – Detained Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Friday expressed alarm over the “continued proliferation of fake videos” on video-sharing website Youtube and urged Google Philippines to take it down.
“The continued proliferation of fake videos on YouTube is highly alarming. These fake videos have been widely shared across social media platforms by well-orchestrated network of pages that aim to manipulate reality to advance their political agendas,” De Lima said in a statement.
The senator said fake videos are populating on one of its subsidiaries, notably YouTube, “which becomes the go-to platform of sinister groups to spread lies and misleading content.”
De Lima called on Google Philippines to take concrete and decisive actions to ensure the veracity of the videos and audio clips it allows to be disseminated and shared on its service by cleaning up YouTube of fake clips.
“Google Philippines should take this concern seriously and start the crackdown on fake videos, including deep fake videos, on YouTube to free the public from any confusion about what’s real and what’s fake. This is long overdue,” she added.
The lawmaker also said she has since been aware of the malicious content populating YouTube because she has been a constant target of fake news on the said platform, as with other social networking sites.
“I should know. Evil men and women who are behind the fake news stories and videos against me have long been resorting to YouTube, among other social media platforms, to discredit me and make me appear bad in the public’s eyes,” she said.
“Even though my Senate staff report these online fake news pages and websites regularly, their efforts are not enough to control the proliferation of these fake news videos, especially among overseas Filipino workers,” she added.
De Lima believes that Google Philippines and its mother unit would be more responsible in finding innovative ways that could control, if not at all stop, the continued circulation and distribution of fake videos on YouTube.
“The people behind these dubious accounts and channels should also be held accountable for their actions. Media literacy and fact-checking platforms would not suffice unless technology giants like Google contribute in fighting disinformation,” she said.
Google Philippines has yet to issue a statement on the matter as of posting.
Owner of Misibis Bay Resort, Zaldy Co, has filed cyber libel charges against self-confessed “Bikoy” Peter Joemel Advincula, Facebook PH, and YouTube.
“Like ‘Bikoy’, Facebook and YouTube must be held accountable. Our legal system shouldn’t allow them to be part of a systematic campaign to destroy people and simply get away with it,” Co said in a statement.
Based on the filed complaint, Co is asking for P1 billion in damages against the said respondents, including Rodel Jayme, for linking his resort in the ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist’ videos.
“The truth is finally out. By his own admission, ‘Bikoy’ said everything in the viral video series that implicates me, Misibis Bay Resort and other personalities in the illegal drug trade are pure fabrication,” Co added.
Co recalled that his camp had already asked Facebook and YouTube to take down the videos but his request was allegedly ignored.
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