Just my 2 cents on a motorist being cyber-bullied

This video has been shared a lot of times on different social networking sites. And unlike the other people who posted this video, I am not putting this up to make fun of him, to ridicule him or say nasty things about him. I am just putting this as reference. The video quickly went viral, with copies of the video posted on YouTube racking thousands of views in two days.

A lot of people have been taunting him for being “stupid”, maligning him for his actions and saying comments that are really below the belt, and to the point racist. This video has attracted thousands of viewers, ever since it was shown at the news program 24 oras of GMA last August 2.

I was in the office when I first saw this video, it was in another news program of the channel (it was shown during lunch time). I must admit, at first I laughed at his misfortune, but after that I felt bad for him. I was thinking how expensive it is to get a car fixed or buy a new car nowadays. I didn’t really hear what he said during the interview, because the volume of the television wasn’t that loud. So I shrugged it off and thought that maybe it was just so that people will learn their lesson. I forgot about the whole news, until I saw it at the prime time news.

I heard his comments. His comments were rash. He put the blame on everyone; the government, the people who were there and heck, even to the news reporter that was way on the other side of the street. He was totally being arrogant. Maybe because some misfortune happened to him? He gave a feeling of self-entitlement on national television. The way he acted was really annoying which probably caused people to put up hate pages on Facebook and made him one of the top trending topics on Twitter.

Maybe, yes, it was the governments fault that the street didn’t have any warning signs or the residents of that place that didn’t inform him. But maybe, he should have been more careful of what he said. And maybe, he shouldn’t have to put the blame on everyone else besides him. He, himself should be blamed. And that started the bullying.

The hapless motorist is being bullied. I feel bad for him.

And now the blame is being put on the news program. In all honesty, if you watched the segment, they never made a mockery out of his misfortune. You can see concern on the reporter when he interviewed the motorist. Although he kind of laughed when the guy was blaming the news crew, but not in an instance did he laugh at what happened.

I don’t think it’s the news programs fault that they should it. Yes, it’s always the ratings game when it comes to media, but I don’t think they meant it that way. The news program, didn’t start the bullying, it was the people in social networks who started it.

Like one commenter of a blog said, “Mr.Lao has combined sheer ARROGANCE and LACK OF COMMON SENSE and this perfect combination has created this online bashing. You are a product of your own actions.”

People can forgive you for doing something stupid, but it’s how he handled the consequences of his actions. He was being coarse in demeanor and language.

Anyway, I just wish people would just stop making a big deal out of it and stop bullying him! Please forget about this and let’s all move on. There are more important things to deal with.

So GMA Network released a statement regarding the issue.

Howie Severino, editor-in-chief of GMA News’ website, issued this statement:

“Mr. Lao was already victimized by the flood and a lack of warnings. He shouldn’t be victimized again. Many of us could have been in his situation. We are urging the public to stop the insults. We regret that our video, which was meant to provide a lesson for all motorists, was used in any way to make fun of another person.”

“Christopher Lao was victimized by the flood & a lack of warnings. He shouldn’t be victimized again. Let’s put a stop to online harassment,” GMA News also tweeted on Thursday.

Christopher Lao also issued a statement.

“The past few days have been very disheartening for me and my family. As you know I have been a subject of a viral video that showed my helplessness during a trying moment. As it stands right now, I have several hate pages in Facebook and Twitter with hurtful and derogatory messages attacking my person. The reputation that I built the past years has been besmirched. A bad day has now turned into wounded feelings and sleepless nights for me and my family.

I have been silent the past few days as I want this to go away soon but not before saying sorry and thank you to people who matter.

I would like to apologize for my behavior that was seen on nationwide television and now on the internet. It was unfortunate that I was caught on camera immediately after an overwhelmingly stressful mishap.

I would like to again sincerely thank those who braved the flood to help a distraught stranger like me. Their selfless act reminded me of how dependable Filipinos are in times of crisis.

Lastly, I would like to thank my family, friends and all of those who showed empathy, consideration and support throughout these trying times. You have given me strength and courage to rise above and be a better person.”


One thought on “Just my 2 cents on a motorist being cyber-bullied

  1. Mr. Severino, the matter on how the news was delivered and how the reporter interviewed Mr. Lao clearly show that this was intended to provide entertainment. It was not a relevant news at all so I am not sure why it was shown. And yes, how the public reacted is a mere product of this sensationalized news. Clearly, GMA needs some improvement on the area of ethical journalism.


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