Updates at the bottom.
Why trying to shut down “#DLSUsecretfiles” is BAD IDEA.
Last Nov. 23 2013 a Facebook group named: “DLSU secret files” (www.facebook.com/DLSUSecretFiles) was created by anonymous students. It quickly spread among the current student population and the young alumni community within a few days. The biggest jump was last night (Nov. 25) in which the number of likes jumped from 1,000 to 7,000 in just a few hours. The group became a viral success. There were lots of controversial posts like “a friend had sex with a girl in this area”, or confessions like “I have a big crush on *name*” or just funny/crazy drunk stories and it made the group even stickier. Currently, most of the controversial posts have been deleted.
It grew to a point that it attracted older members of the Lasallian community which I will simply refer to as “Old Lasallians”. The DLSU Alumni Association (DLSAA) sent a cease and desist letter to the page saying things like:
“the theme of your Facebook page is not in line with the La Salle core values.”
“Character formation and internalization of Lasallian values are the ultimate objectives of having such handbook.”
“DLSU, aside from being one of the most respected universities here in the Philippines, is also known for being one of the best CATHOLIC universities here and are managed by La Salle brothers.”
“We are respectfully asking you to delete your Facebook page.”
“delete all the contents of your page and post a single entry of apology addressed to the administration, the students, the USG, and alumni of the university.”
“the damage has been done.”
For the younger Lasallians: It’s another case of “we’re using the internet wrong”
So dear Lasallian alumni who are against the page,
Here are few reasons why trying to shut down #DLSUsecretfiles is a BAD IDEA.
- We use the internet and understand cyberculture in deeper ways than you think.
We grew up with it, you didn’t. We see bullsh*t posts, posers, anonymous threats/messages everyday using different sites like reddit, ask.fm, formspring, twitter, etc. We have “parody/throwaway” accounts, “lurkers” and “trolls” in our vocabulary. We do not immediately believe everything posted online. In fact, I believe we are more critical at processing online information than older generations. Some of the posted things are obviously fake (duh, we how easy it is to post bullshit on that Google form) so you don’t need to tell us what to believe or not. We also know how to self-police. You see some people who post “Ows weh di nga” comments.
Are you honestly saying that participating and sharing posts to the group is a form of shaming DLSU? I don’t think so. This is just our way of gathering rumors and hearsay. We do not take them seriously. The difference with this group and other rumor pages/sites like Overheard at DLSU group and the rumors section of PinoyExchange is #DLSUsecretfiles became a viral success. Those other sites are also “not in line with the La Salle core values” but I don’t see you shutting them down.
In social dynamics, the #DLSUsecretfiles reached critical mass see-> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_mass_(sociodynamics) with strong and “real” community participation. Hundreds of my Lasallian friends and colleagues are already in that group as it easily spread among many circles, and I’m ID 108! You see, this is something really hard to do. Social media managers and online marketers would drool at the level of community engagement the group gets per post. I created “Lasallians for RH Bill” and it couldn’t get past the 1000th page like after 6 months!
So why is this important?
- You fail to see the group’s potential.
#DLSUsecretfiles is in it’s early stage, and I believe changes should be made like focusing on situations rather than naming dropping - which is the group’s biggest mistake. We are with you in fighting cyberbullying and spreading misinformation and that can easily be solved.
“the mere act of compiling them and posting them gives you the full responsibility to whatever consequences that it might entail.”
“freedom of speech is NOT absolute.”
You sound like the government with the closed-minded view on how the internet works. Think about it this way, member of DLSAA. The way you understand online groups shouldn’t be absolute. Take this as an example:
Parody accounts like the Amphi Turtle (@Amphigong) and More Fun in DLSU @morefuninDLSU @LasalyanoKaPag @lozolpls @lahzuhlpls (the list goes on…) are usually just for fun and a few “lulz” but when there is a need, they help spread useful information. They remind us with current events ranging from UAAP games to important announcements within the community. Some of these parody accounts “break character” when there are big issues like government corruption, stupidity in Philippine politics, when important people die, or even campus issues like f*cked up enrollment systems, scalping, etc.
These groups become the voice of the community and a strong online community can become tools for social change. No one can deny that these accounts are our generation’s information gateways. Not only is it a form of entertainment, but also a way for the modern generation to socialize and express themselves.
- Silencing and censoring the group is NOT the smartest solution.
The internet gives us the right to organize in whatever ways we want. Even Harvard (http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2011/09/26/harvard-overheard-why-the-cambridge-university-is-the-most-buzzed-about-university-online/), Cambridge (http://www.cambubble.co.uk/#/article-database/4574313037/’Overheard’-at-Cambridge—-The-Shocking-Truth/4859288), UCBerkeley (www.facebook.com/UCBerkeleyConfessions) and other big schools have groups/sites like these but their administration doesn’t shut them down - THEY STUDY THEM, THEY TRY TO UNDERSTAND THEM.
You have a gold mine of information presented at you. You are given the opportunity to look at the bigger picture. You know what the kids are doing, where, when and why they do it (and who they do it with). Even though you can doubt the credibility of each post, you get a glimpse of how the youth thinks and operates. Sadly, you fail to see this as useful information and instead focus on outdated rules and technicalities like having the DLSU or De La Salle University in the group name. That reasoning just widened the gap between old and the current generation Lasallian.
- Lastly, I leave you with this:
Once there was a 19-year old college student who created an exclusive online group for students at his university. He made site where they can exchange information, have fun, meet other people and even “get laid”. His name is Mark Zuckerberg and you are in his website called Facebook.
DIE HARD LASALLIAN
former Photo Editor of The LaSallian,
former courtside photographer of GoArchers,
Super active netizen lol
Person who used the internet to create events like “DLSU Harlem Shake”, “Pupunta ka ba sa Univ Week”, “DLSU Call Me Maybe” etc.
Person who observes/studies the cyberculture + emerging subcultures for a project
TL;DR (That means Too Long:Didn’t Read, or the quick summary part)
We had an online party, you crashed the party, you will never be invited to the next party. We grew up with the internet, we know bullshit and we do not believe every post in the group. Silencing the group is cutting our means of communication. You get a glimpse of how the youth thinks and operates but you shut them up.
EDIT1 (11/26 2:30pm): I see that “Taga La Salle Taft ka kung…” FB page
removed and blocked me after posting this blog. Whoever did that deserves trophy from Tito Sotto! Seriously how the f@#$ did that merit as a solution? Tawa nalang tayo hahaha!
EDIT2 (11/27 12:15am): After a few words from angry members of the alumni (some of it about Mark Zuckerburg which is extremely ironic), I decided to accept the fact that there will never be a true understanding between the different groups. While they MIGHT think that shutting down the page will protect the reputation of the school, I’ve given up telling that it’s not as simple as that anymore. We don’t use internet like they use newspapers and other forms of old media (which requires bigger responsibility) - we SIMPLY use it to communicate, spread ideas, express ourselves. IMHO you can shut down the page but people will never stop talking like this.