Manolo Quezon III, a Filipino journalist and blogger, gives us an overview of blogger’s role in the Gloria Arroyo vote-buying scandal in a talk called “Tag-Teaming Against the President”.
He begins with an overview of the “Hello Garci” scandal, showing off the Hello Garci scandal Wikipedia timeline on the subject. Audiotapes were released implicating President Gloria Arroyo in a vote-fixing scandal. The Arroyo government responded by offering alternative, less damning versions of the tapes, but the damaging versions circulated, both in the media and on blogs. They led to an unsuccesful attempt to impeach the president.
The scandal was a turning point for the Filipino blogosphere – as mainstream news outlets assisted the government by circulating “official” versions of the recordings, bloggers organized mirrors and bit torrents to distribute the unedited versions. When legal authorities started to warn that anyone playing the tapes or circulating transcripts could be persecuted under national anti-wiretapping laws, mainstream publications bowed out and bloggers stepped up. This required bloggers to get smart about all sorts of unfamiliar technologies – releasing three hours of unedited audio for people on a narrowband connection isn’t an especially useful technique. So bloggers edited audio into more accessible chunks – and converted it into Hello Garci scandal“>highly popular ringtones for mobile phones.
Manolo speculates that the Philippines is “a nation of lawyers”, which helps explain why people were receptive to the call to “use your constitutional rights and spread the tapes.”
Other posts from FEAC 2006: feac2006