Mudslinging on web focused on Villar, Aquino

Mudslinging on web focused on Villar, Aquino
By Beth Morrissey, Princeton-in-Asia Fellow
ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs

Gordon has most ‘positive posts’

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III and Senator Manny Villar are the presidential candidates in the 2010 elections that have generated the most mentions and posts on the Internet, according to a study released Wednesday by NetBooster Asia, an online marketing and advertising agency.

The study, which surveyed information about five presidential candidates, shows that the most online mudslinging and negative campaigning is posted by those Internet users discussing Villar and Aquino. The data from the survey indicates that Villar has generated the most negative sentiment online, closely followed by Aquino.

The study is a “snapshot” of social media behavior and trends, according to Marck Rimorin, Social Media Officer for Netbooster Asia. “The public should see the study as demonstrating the power of the internet,” said Rimorin, who led the team that conducted the study.

The study notes that “online sentiment for Villar was positive following the fallout from the C-5 investigation, but drowned out after he released a new TV commercial.”

Villar has the greatest post volume regardless of sentiment, according to the survey results. The study also shows that Aquino’s post volume started to rise after an incident between “The Buzz” co-hosts Kris Aquino and Ruffa Gutierrez.

According to the study, “the blogosphere, while initially hostile to Aquino because of the involvement of the Kris-Ruffa squabble, started praising him once again at the expense of Villar.”

Gordon has most positive posts online

Presidential candidate Richard Gordon has the most consistently positive posts online, according to the study. Although Gordon has a low volume of posts, the study shows he has almost zero negative posts.

The study also notes that administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro has the most consistent increase in posts with positive opinion.

Alexa, a third-party web application, was used in the study to rate the traffic on the official websites of the presidential candidates. Aquino’s official website is ranked the highest, followed by Villar and Teodoro.

The study indicates that the top search trends for the websites of the Presidential candidates are the names of candidates, but that a significant amount of the traffic funneled to candidates’ websites results from search trends related to rival candidates.

The top search trends that lead to Joseph Estrada’s website are based on former presidents, according to the study.

Aquino, Villar Facebook fan winners

Aquino and Villar are “neck-and-neck” in terms of number of fans on their Facebook fan pages, according to the study, with 869,298 and 822,637 fans respectively as of the time of the study.

The study notes that “people are more willing to engage and participate with their chosen candidates as fans than as friends. Conversations in fan pages are also more active than they are in friend pages.”

Estrada’s campaign was the earliest adopter of the social networking platform Twitter, according to the study, having created the account @PresidentErap on May 10, 2009. Gordon was the last candidate to adopt Twitter. The study shows that account @dickgordon2010 was created on October 31, 2009.

According to the study’s data, the Twitter account with the most followers is not the one with the most tweets. The Twitter account @noynoyaquino has the greatest number of followers, with 37,911. The account has only 47 Tweets. The Twitter account @Manny_Villar has 172 tweets and 1,311 followers. The account @giboteodoro has 32 and 10,376 followers.

“Most positive sentiments on Twitter are for the LAKAS-Kampi tandem of Teodoro and Manzano,” according to the study.

Far from Obama campaign

“We’re far from duplicating the social media campaign of Obama,” said Rimorin when asked how an online campaign in the Philippines could replicate the success of Barrack Obama’s 2008 new media campaign during the US presidential elections. Rimorin recommends that candidates in the Philippines audit their websites and pay close attention to the issues that are important to Internet users.

“It seems their supporters are doing more for them then they are doing for their supporters,” said Rimorin, noting that candidates often do not engage Internet uses who are connected to their social networks or who are posting information about the presidential candidates.

Read: In RP, online support may not translate into votes

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.

  • man here

    We have a saying, “Kapag namunga ang mangga, ito ay babatuhin.” (If a mango tree begins to bear fruit, people start throwing stones at it.) This is exactly what is happening to Manny Villar’s case. He is the most accomplished among the presidentiables, and also the recipient of the most negative comments on the web and probably the media in general. He was born into a world of poverty, became a highly successful entrepreneur, a congressman, speaker of the house, senator, senate president and currently a leading contender in the presidential race.

    Actually, the current Philippine political milieu, brings the country back to the Two-party system: Nacionalista and Liberal parties. Much like the Democrats and Republicans, and the Tories and Whigs. Truly, history repeats itself because the Philippines has been practicing the Two-party system for many decades until the recent past (1987), when the new constitution introduced the Multi-party system to the Filipino. I mention this because I am in the firm belief that the rest of the presidential candidates are all nuisance.

    Villar is the most likely to win the top post. He is the most experienced and capable to lead this nation, a step towards being among the first world countries. He may have his frailties, but he who has committed no wrong, may cast the stone. Just like the future president’s predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who pulled the peso from 57 to 46 to a dollar, invited international business to invest and believe in this country and eventually gave millions of jobs to the Filipino, both direct and indirect, negative criticisms have been hurled against her. But she remained strong, iron-willed like the Margaret Thatcher type.

    A strong leader must be able to handle properly all forms and fashion of unfavorable mudslinging thrown at him.