Google bans Filipinos for mentioning ‘proud to be Pinoy’ on their comments on YouTube videos, effective Monday, November 17, 2014. According to a post at the official YouTube blog, the move was made due to thousands of hatred comments and senseless debates over the years. Google will use a special protocol to detect and automatically disapprove the controversial phrase.
“We (Google) think it’s high time to finally stop Filipinos in slamming each other on every video that shows talent show contestants with a Filipino-mixed blood. The ‘proud to be Pinoy’ comments have been the main cause of a lot of misunderstanding, and we are just here to pacify them.” YouTube Product Manager Bryan McDay wrote in the blog post.
“The decision was voted unanimously after long hours of meeting and exchange of ideas. In fact, we invited three Filipino web designers to join in our discussion to somehow hear their opinions on this issue. We understand that many Filipinos will disagree with us but this is for them as a whole.” Mcday added, emphasizing that YouTube is not being racist or has plans of controlling freedom of expression.
According to YouTube, 98.7% of all the videos from Britain’s Got Talent, Australia’ Got Talent, American Idol and similar shows have ‘Proud to be Pinoy’ comments. YouTube added that although there is nothing wrong with that, heated arguments start when some commentators are dismayed with such praises. No data was presented, but YouTube claimed that after using Google Translate, the English translation of the Filipino comments is outrageous and exasperating, and should be stopped.
Meanwhile, YouTube’s decision sparked another series of debates among Filipino netizens, this time on Facebook and Twitter. Using the hashtags #ProudToBePinoy and #YouTubeSucks, Filipinos continue to exchange harsh words and blaming each other over the ban. Nevertheless, there are a few of them who acted as mediators and telling everyone to stop the word war. Below are some of them:
“We are all Filipinos and we should unite. Let’s respect each other’s opinions. There are other problems to talk about #ProudToBePinoy” Twitter user Apolinaria Magbitang (@apolopdiay) tweeted.
“This is not helping our country. Let’s show the world that we are good citizens and educated people…peace! #ProudToBePinoy” Twitter user Eugenio Alfonso III (@genealfonso) tweeted.
“We should be ashamed of ourselves. Stop bashing each other. Let’s not wait for Facebook and Twitter to also ban us. #ProudToBePinoy” Twitter user Ralph Lorenzada (@ralphlorenzada) tweeted.
In line with this issue, Taho News reporter Neil Abasan talked to UP Sociology Professor Melencio Milenyo.
“I don’t know exactly when this outrage started, but I think it became a real issue when Jessica Sanchez entered the American Idol and eventually ended as runner-up. Let us remember that she (Sanchez) is an American citizen and was born in California. Although her mother is a Filipina from Bataan, her father is a Mexican-American. I suppose some Filipinos felt awkward when many of their kababayans (countrymen) started to mention ‘proud to be Pinoy’ on their comments to her videos.” Milenyo said.
“Apparently, this debate was escalated when Maria Aragon from Canada rose to fame. I suppose the latest personality was Marlisa Punzalan, whose Filipinos parents migrated to Australia even before she was born. But anyway, it’s understandable for any nationality to be proud of the achievements of their countrymen abroad. However, some Filipinos think this is overacting.” He added.
As of posting, Filipinos still cannot post ‘proud to be Pinoy’ on any YouTube video as part of their comments. It was not made clear as to whether Google will ban it permanently or not.
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