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Dos and dont’s for ‘Yolanda’ posts from Pope’s social media manager

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MANILA, Nov. 20, 2013—From calls for volunteers to online rants about turtle-paced relief operations, ‘Yolanda’-related online updates continue to flood social media feeds, leading the Pope’s social media manager to give Pinoy netizens some guidelines for online posting about this hot button topic.

“If we have concerns, if we are afraid that bad things are happening, if we are afraid that there will be injustices, we should never be afraid to name the injustice, to speak out against what is wrong, but we always do so in love,” said Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who will be giving the keynote address at the Catholic Social Media Summit version 2.0 this November 23-24 at the Colegio San Juan de Letran, Intramuros, Manila.

Truth + love 

Indirectly referring to the growing dissatisfaction and disgust over what is perceived to be the government’s botched relief operations in areas in the Visayas particularly those affected by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’, Msgr. Tighe appealed to Filipino social media users to “speak the truth in love”, despite being “angry or cross” about recent events.

“It is easy sometimes to condemn, to criticize, but sometimes, that does not help,” he added.

Msgr. Tighe, who led the team that coordinated the creation of the Papal Twitter account, @Pontifex, said, there is a more constructive way of pointing out wrongdoing or giving criticism online.

“If I see someone doing something wrong and I say, ‘This is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong…’ That makes it difficult for other people to listen to me because their first reaction is to defend themselves,” he explained.

Positive online presence 

He also encouraged Filipinos, 93.9% of whom have a Facebook account, “to be present [online] in a positive way.”

“What my worry is, if social media is very negative and it’s very cross and very angry. And people who are good and sensitive will say, ‘I won’t go there’, it leaves [the internet] as an open arena for the trolls and the difficult people,” said Msgr. Tighe, who met members of the Philippine media at a press conference this morning at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ press con room.

The Catholic Social Media Summit version 2.0 happening this weekend, November 23- 24, features other high-profile Catholic communicators like video missionary Seth Demoor of OneBillionStories.com and Asia-Pacific international manager for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) Edwin Lopez, among others.

Interested parties may still register for the event at www.catholicsocialmediasummit.com

The registration fee of P1,500 per person will cover meals, ID and event kit. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]


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