Carlo's Think Pieces

Reflections of a Filipino in the Netherlands

Archive for the ‘alternative media’ Category

On the Cybercrime Law

Posted by butalidnl on 30 September 2012

A lot has been said about RA 10175 (the Cybercrime Law) in online media, and how it threatens the freedom of expression in the internet. Other blogs have discussed this problem extensively, but here will also take a closer look at the law itself.

Positive
It is good that the law clearly prohibits (and specifies penalties for) a range of cyber crimes. This include:
– illegally accessing computer data and systems, either directly or by interception;
– data interference;
– theft of passwords and access codes;
– computer forgery and fraud;
– identity theft
– child pornography;

It is a good thing that the law finally deals with such questions. Previously, it was difficult to prosecute some cyber criminals because their crimes were not properly defined in Philippine law. Also, when foreign police agencies trace a cyber criminal to the Philippines; Philippine police would have a hard time apprehending, much less extraditing, them.

Take for example the case of internet spammers. When they are identified by foreign agencies, they could not be prosecuted under Philippine law. Or, identity theft in the internet would either be properly prosecuted as theft or fraud; but if these cases are tried as such, there is a good possibility that it would result in dropping the case, acquittal, or extremely low penalties.

Libel
Section 4 (c)(4) of the law is on Libel. It extends the provisions from Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code on libel to the cyber sphere. Nothing really new up to this point. However, Section 6 specifies that penalties in the Revised Penal Code would be raised by one step. Thus, while the RPC defines penalties of as low as 200 pesos; with the new Cyber Crime Law, libel could result in a much higher penalty (up to 12 years imprisonment, in some cases).
The Revised Penal Code gives an equivalent punishment to the editor and publisher of the libelous statement. With the increased penalties for such ‘crimes’, the ISP or website owner (thus, e.g. Facebook , Twitter or Google) would be punished; which means that these sites may be forced to censor entries for fear of being sued.

In practice, however, most cyber-libel suits would get stranded in court because it is difficult to prove that the imputations were made with a malicious intent. This is still open to abuse, since rich or powerful people could file suits merely to harass their critics, and not necessarily to win them. On the other hand, the police and prosecutors may simply refuse to pursue such cases because of unclarity regarding: the public nature of the imputation, the identity of the accused (since many people use handles and not their real names), or even the ‘floating’ nature of the web (as in, it is easy to erase the offending blogpost).

Case of Ella Ganda
In 2009, Former DSWD Secretary Cabral filed a suit against Ella Ganda for a blog post complaining about the DSWD’s handling of Typhoon Ondoy relief (Hands off Ella and her Blog ). The NBI looked into the complaint and dropped it for lack of merit (they also had difficulty finding Ella). [ see Ella’s blogpost:Aanhin pa ang Damo kung Patay na ang Kabayo ]
Most cyber-libel suits will follow the same pattern: government official sues critic for a blog post (or FB update, or Tweet); the NBI looks into the matter and then drops the case (for lack of merit, or other problems). The police and NBI have other, more important, crimes to solve, and would have limited patience with rich and powerful people harassing whoever criticizes them.

I believe that Senator Sotto or other government officials would have difficulty if they file cyber-libel suits against their critics. Critics basically discuss policy, and perhaps their disgust at how lawmakers discuss policy, but few (if any) will talk about the character of the lawmakers themselves. If they accuse Sotto of plagiarism, that is just a description of his behaviour, and not a ‘smear’ on his reputation (as defined in libel law). Of course, if someone says something like “Sotto is a psychopath”, then that will be something else entirely.
Another reason why officials will hesitate to file harassment suits is that if they do so, the offending text would become more widely distributed as a result. For example, I would have never come across Ella Ganda’s blogpost if Secretary Cabral didn’t sue her. I’m sure that Sec Cabral’s reputation has suffered more because of the suit, than by anything Ella wrote.

Improvement Needed
The Cybercrime law is a law that is needed at this time, in order to cope with crimes that occur under the new media. It is a pity that it has been accompanied by the libel provision, which actually seeks to limit online freedoms of ordinary citizens.  I believe that this provision will be taken out: either by the Supreme Court, by clarifications from the Executive branch, or by amendments in Congress.  The proper protection and regulation of online behavior of ordinary citizens is more properly the topic for an ‘Internet Bill of Rights’ (and Responsibilities) that still needs to be drafted.

At the same time, it is rather clear that the Cybercrime Law was written without fully considering the specific conditions and dynamics of the cyber world. For example, what does the law refer to when it talks about the ‘publisher’? Does it refer to the site owner (e.g. Google, Yahoo, YouTube, etc)? the ISP? or merely the account holder? And why does the law not specify the simple removal of offending texts as one option the court could decide on?
In Section 16 (re Custody of Computer Data), the law specifies that the offending data is to be deposited with the court in a sealed package, and that any duplicates or copies are included in the package?! (are they talking punch cards or data tapes here?)
Then, the law does not adequately deal with spam – giving it a gaping hole which spammers would exploit; nor does it deal with phishing (but rather only what happens after the identity had been stolen).

The law should be reviewed, and amended, and it should be specific regarding the various forms of social media it aims to regulate. It should be reformulated in a way that fosters citizen participation in democratic discussion, AND promotes responsibility among users.

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Corona Impeachment Trial: A Pandora’s Box

Posted by butalidnl on 24 April 2012

The Corona impeachment trial is not an ordinary trial. By its nature, and due to the national attention to its proceedings, it is turning out to be a Pandora’s Box – bringing to the fore issues about corruption and abuse of power beyond that of the trial itself. While these issues may not be resolved during the trial; they have been raised, and will have to be addressed by the Philippine political system.
The campaign against corruption will advance more through resolving these issues, rather than on whether Corona gets impeached or not.

SALN. Attention has been given to SALNs (Statement of Assets,Liabilities and Net Worth), which are formally required of all government officials and employees. Before the trial, filing it was only a routine procedure; but now we realize that not only should government officials file SALNs, but that they should also be accurate. And that the assets claimed should be ‘explainable’ given the officials’ income.
In discussing Corona’s SALN, the question has been raised about how accurate  SALN entries should be, and the conventions for making SALN entries (e.g. date of ownership, market values etc.)

Implementation of SALN rules will surely be more strict from now on. There will also be calls for the publication of SALNs of all elected officials.

Bank Secrecy. The existence of strict Bank Secrecy Laws (too strict, actually) has been brought to the public’s attention. People have seen the ridiculous extent to which these laws could be implemented. Congress will now have to pass a new Bank Secrecy Law that will allow government (especially the courts) to access bank accounts, including foreign currency accounts.

Executive Discretion. The issue of whether the Executive Branch can simply choose to disregard a Supreme Court order is also under discussion. Can a Cabinet Secretary ignore a Supreme Court order on the grounds that she thinks it was biased? What will happen to ‘rule of law’ where people can simply ignore laws that do not favor them? Shouldn’t Cabinet officials be sanctioned for disobeying the Supreme Court (I think they should, but I don’t think they would). In the future, Cabinet officials will be more careful before they decide to defy SC policies.

Courts will have to be more strict regarding violators of TROs. The De Lima precedent was followed recently by the administration of STC (a Catholic school which punished students for posting photos of them in bikini in Facebook) which ignored a TRO by a Regional Trial Court because the they said that they had filed a motion for reconsideration. This is partly the same logic that De Lima used.

Just Means. “A just struggle has to be fought with just means”- Mohagher Iqbal, 2002. The Corona impeachment process may be what is called a just struggle, but the means with which the pro-Aquino forces are fighting it are not just. The Corona trial will probably be determined by patronage, personal loyalties and wheeling-dealing, rather than by the facts of the case. And most people expect it to be so. The Aquino government is merely pulling strings in the old, politically corrupt way things have always been done.

But the people, who have been watching the trial on TV everyday, will not accept the old ways of politics as easily as before. There will have to be at least a semblance of a real trial, as a result of all the media coverage, It will set a standard for transparency in politics, which even the most hardened political wheeler-dealer cannot fully negate.

President Power over PDAF
Representative Tobias Tiangco said that his PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund ) allotment was not released after he refused to sign the impeachment complaint versus Ombudsman Guttierez last year. This use of Presidential prerogative in releasing (or withholding) Representatives’ ‘pork barrel’ raises the question of whether such control is justified. There would be calls to limit presidential discretion on the release of PDAF.
Another question would be whether PDAF allotments should be made in the first place. After all, the PDAF is used by Representatives in order to build patronage.

Lying About CV
Corona has also be accused of lying in his Curriculum Vitae, claiming honors that were never his.
This charge is rather trivial. After all, who does not ‘pimp up’ their curriculum vitae? The question, of course, is on the extent of ‘pimping up’ that will be allowed.

Hail Marys
‘Hail Marys’ is a term from American Football, when the quarterback throws the ball at no specific receiver And then, he just prays that it will be caught. This is seen as an act of desperation, as when the game is almost over.

The Corona impeachment is a case of a ‘Hail Mary’ thrown by the Aquino administration. They didn’t have a case at all against Corona, but they filed for impeachment anyway, under the logic that since most government officials are corrupt, Corona must also be corrupt, Since Supreme Court SALNs were not public, they assumed that they contained something improper. They calculated that Corona would most likely just resign if an impeachment case was filed. Well, he didn’t; and the prosecution had to be formed, even when they didn’t have a case.

So, they threw a ‘Hail Mary’ again, fishing for his SALN in the hope that some illegally accumulated wealth will show up. Now, it seems that this is being parried successfully by Corona’s defense. What will happen is what often happens with Hail Marys in football – the defense intercepts the ball, and the offensive side loses the game.

The whole Corona impeachment trial shows the folly of trying impeach someone just because Aquino dislikes him. The next time around, Representatives would demand much more proof of wrongdoing, before they impeach somebody else.

Posted in alternative media, Cebu, Philippine politics, Philippines, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Look into the Future

Posted by butalidnl on 14 April 2012

Predicting how things will be like in the future is fun. You can let your imagination run wild and nobody could tell you whether you got it right or not. At the same time, it is tricky; a lot of things forecast before hadn’t come true – take the idea of the personal helicopter, or elaborate space colonization by the year 2000.

It was about 30 years ago that I arrived in the Netherlands (from the Philippines). I find it interesting to note the changes that have happened in those 30 years. Big things have happened: the end of the Cold War and Apartheid, the eradication of smallpox, the Internet and the Web, e-Books, digital cameras. At the same time, some other big things have not happened: manned space exploration, ubiquitous robots, Middle East peace, the ‘paperless office’ (not yet, at least).

I will try to predict things 30 years into the future (or 2042), which is as long as I can hope to live (though I think that I won’t live that long). Perhaps I could still see the changes that I predicted.
So, here goes.

Some Guiding Principles
The Future is Already Here. One thing about predicting 30 years in the future is that a lot of things then will be based on things that have already been discovered or invented today. After all, the basic discoveries for the internet were already made in the 1980s, even the 1970s. Fax machines were around since the 1930s. It takes about 20 to 30 years before a new discovery is fully developed. In the near future, this pattern will surely continue. Really new things that will be discovered in the next 10 years or more will be part of a longer-term future – i.e. beyond 30 years.

More People, More Comfort. Doomsayers who say that the people in the future will be less comfortable because of overpopulation will be proven wrong. While there will be more people in the world, they will be living longer and better than we now do. A lot of this improvement in well-being will be due to the better lives of many people in the Third World. But people in developed countries will also see their lives improved.

No Radical Changes in People’s Preferences and Habits. Social inertia is strong; ingrained habits will most likely prevail.
Many people will still hold elaborate weddings. National identities will remain. The food that people eat will generally look the same as what they eat today. People will continue to ride automobiles.

What will the Future look like, then?
Food. The world’s population will increase by at least 50% (from 7 to 10 billion). But there will be a need to increase food production by more than 50% since many people are underfed today. The Earth can sustain this population if we eat more sensibly.

The pattern of meat consumption will be different.The reason is that some kinds of meat are produced with more grain than others – this grain/meat ratio is known as the FGR (Feed Grain Ratio). Beef will be too expensive to be eaten daily by ordinary people. People will generally eat meat with lower FGRs than beef (which is 8). Pork’s FGR is 4, chicken’s between 2 & 3, FGR  for fish (i.e. the vegetarian kinds of fish) is 2. It is likely that the per capita consumption of vegetables will be significantly higher than today. A lot of ‘vegetarian meat’ will be produced from soya, mongo and other beans.

Food will be grown not only in rural areas; a lot of it will be grown in plots in urban areas (mostly vegetables and fruits). There will be a lot more fish grown in fish farms, compared to the present practice of ‘hunting’ for fish. People will NOT be eating insects (except where these are now already local delicacies).

Transportation. Personal vehicles will be small and electric. Rental services will cater to people’s need for bigger vehicles. Some vehicles will be powered by petroleum products: especially ships, airplanes, earth movers and trucks, but these will be mostly hybrid. Intercity transportation will be often done by Maglev, at least in the richer countries. High speed Maglev will replace a lot of short commuter plane links. Smart highways will guide cars through special lanes, making it possible for them to safely cruise at high speeds (200 kilometers/hour or more).

Energy. There will be a lot of energy generated; more than enough to keep people living comfortably. G4 nuclear plants (which use up 95% of the nuclear fuel, instead of the 5% that present G3 plants consume) will supply some countries with cheap electricity. For most of the rest, there will geothermal, tidal, wind, hydro and solar energy. Fossil fuel power plants will mostly be de-commissioned.Temporary surplus energy will be stored in various ways to even out the electricity supply across the day.

Solar energy will boom. The yield of silicon solar panels will have increased from the current 16% to 40% (present prototypes with improved silicon panels already have a yield of 30%, while those with Gallium Arsenide already routinely exceed 35%, so the technological jump will not be much). Electricity from fossil fuels (including coal) will be too expensive, especially since environmental costs will be fully factored in. Petroleum will be used for some vehicles (mostly heavy duty and offroad) and for making plastics and other chemicals. Solar panels will adorn every rooftop, except those used to plant food. Some walls will be made of special solar panels. The newer solar panels will be integrated into the building materials, so thye won’t look at all like today’s solar panels.

The energy needed for lighting, heating and transportation will be much less than today. Energy loss in transmission will be less, since much of the electricity will be generated close to the user.

The problem of global warming will shift from greenhouse gases to the heat dissipated with the use of all the energy.

Space Travel. Space exploration or colonization will continue at the same more-or-less leisurely pace as today. Earth-bound considerations will continue to put limits to how much is spent in space. There will have been one or two manned missions to Mars, but no permanent bases. There will be people living on the moon, but this will be more like the present Antarctic scientific camps. There will be a number of space stations in low-Earth orbit.

Life Expectancy. Major diseases like tuberculosis, malaria and even AIDS will be greatly reduced, affecting a shrinking percentage of the population. In developed countries, the treatment of degenerative diseases will be more successful.

The obesity epidemic of today will be a thing of the past. Perhaps 5% of the people may still be classified as obese; but increased prices of food, more exercise and better therapy (medication and surgery) will result in  decreasing numbers of obese people.

Cancer will still be around, but for most cases, treatment would make it more of a chronic, rather than a deadly, disease.

Death from accidents (especially vehicular and work-related) will be low and steadily decreasing, as traffic authorities and companies institute more stringent safety measures. Large-scale industrial pollution will be lower, lessening deaths from chemical exposure. The most hazardous tasks (e.g. underground mining) will be increasingly robotized.

Worldwide average life espectancy at birth may reach the late 70s (in 2010, it was 67.2 years); lots of people will live to their 90s (and be relatively healthier than now).

Computers/IT. There will be a range of devices for all kinds of needs: wristband, handheld, slate, notebook, desktop, wall, company network and super computers. People will have a wide range of options for keeping information in the ‘cloud’ or in their machines. A person’s devices will more efficiently share information with each other, in various ways and extents.

Information will be available for a fee – people will make micro-payments to access this. At the same time, more information will be shared for free. All of human knowledge will  be available on the internet. Devices can all communicate with each other, The choice will include: text, audio, full audio-visual, data.

A lot of ‘office work’ will be done partly at home, as with school work. Work and study will be combined with regular (a number of times a week) face-to-face sessions. ‘Traditional’ offices and schools will still constitute the majority, and those will employ the latest IT tools.

E-books will be widespread. Almost all books will be in e-book format. Paper books will be quite expensive in comparison, and will be bought by special book enthusiasts or as gifts.
E-paper will be used for posters/signs at stores, and maybe even on billboards.

All-round robots will still be experimental. But there will be a lot of special purpose bots. Examples would be restaurant bus bots, automatic vehicles (for use as taxis within cities), cleaning bots and smaller industrial bots.

Politics. There will be more nation-states than there are today. At the same time, many of these will be grouped into supra-national entities e.g. EU, ASEAN, Ecowas, Mercosur which would assume many functions which today belong to nation-states.

There will be peace between Israelis and Arabs – but the form could vary from a unitary Arab-Israeli state, to Israel as Jewish state at peace with its neighbours. North and South Korea will reunite. There will be no more dictators ala Gaddafi or Lukashenko anymore. However, there will probably be some ‘failed democracy’ (like present-day Russia).

Posted in alternative media, electric car, electricity, environment, solar energy, World Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Continuing FB Bikini Case

Posted by butalidnl on 31 March 2012

The administration of St Theresa’s College (STC), an exclusive girls school in Cebu had decided to bar 2 students from attending their graduation ceremony. This was because the nuns said that the girls had posted pictures of themselves in bikini on Facebook. The parents of one of the girls filed a case in court, asking it to overturn the STC nun’s ruling. The school declared that they were actually being lenient, since the girls would still graduate, and that they would simply not attend the graduation ceremonies.

RTC Judge Wilfredo Navarro decided on 29 March to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to overturn the STC administration’s decision, saying that the girls should attend the graduation, but also that she be treated with respect, and accorded all the courtesy during the ceremonies. But on 30 March, STC guards refused to accept the TRO being served by the sheriff, and also blocked the girl and her parents from entering the campus. According to the STC administration, the TRO was ‘inadequate’. So, the STC pretends to know the law more than the judges; or, is it just a matter of their arrogance at disregarding any court order that they consider inconvenient.

The girl’s father said that they will continue with the case, even if the damage had already been done.

Violation of Privacy
The issue over inappropriate photos posted on Facebook is first of all a matter of the school’s violation of the girls’ privacy. Posting a picture on Facebook is akin to showing one’s photo album to friends. This is private. For someone who is not on one’s friends list to take issue with a posting on Facebook will be – to say the least – highly inappropriate. They should be the ones ashamed, in the first place, for having peeked without permission at the posting. It is the STC administration who should apologize for its voyeurism in peeking at a student’s Facebook page.

Violation of the Department of Education Rules
The disciplinary action of the STC administration violates the rules of the Department of Education, specifically Dep. Order 88 “2010 Revised Manual of Regulations for Private Schools in Basic Education”. In this Order, Section 131. Responsibility on Student Discipline: Limitation.  “The administration of each private school shall be responsible for the maintenance of good discipline among students inside the school campus, as well as outside the school premises whenever they are engaged in authorized school activities.”

The family outing when the photo was taken was clearly not an “authorized school activity”, and thus the STC administration had no jurisdiction over it, nor over the subsequent posting in Facebook.

The STC administration should not cite the Student Manual as the basis for their action. If a provision in the manual is in conflict with the relevant Department of Education ruling, then it is invalid. It should be amended accordingly. To claim that their Manual provision should prevail over a Dept of Education rule is wrong; the Dept of Education specified in Order No. 88 that schools should adjust their rules to conform to it.

‘Lewd’
I have not seen the photo in question. But it seems that the photo was one of the girls wearing a bikini with a towel wrapped around her waist. If one was to consider this lewd, it would be more a reflection of one’s own dirty mind, rather than of the one in the photo. How could we expect nuns, who are sheltered from society, to be good judges of what constitutes appropriate states of dress. The RTC judge said that he does not consider the photo to be lewd. I would tend to rely more on his judgement than that of nuns.

The standard of ‘lewd’ is one on a slippery slope. If we let the nuns have their way, very soon all skirts above the knee will be lewd, as will all tops held up by spaghetti straps. (Note that the nuns appropriate upon themselves to judge what students should wear anywhere, not just at school.) We could end up worse than the Wahabi religious police in Saudi Arabia.

Next Steps
The children have been wronged; the graduation is over. The only appropriate penalty for the STC administration would be for them to issue a public apology, and perhaps reparations for the unnecessary emotional damage they had caused. But beyond this, there should be a thorough revision of all Student Manuals to ensure that they do not extend to behaviour outside school premises and activities.

The STC administration should also be sanctioned by the RTC for contempt of court. We can’t have school administrators who simply disregard the law whenever it does not please them.

Posted in alternative media, Cebu, Philippine education, Philippines | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Was the Big Bad Blogger story “creative”?

Posted by butalidnl on 27 January 2011

The story of the Big Bad Blogger (BBB) who tries to extort restaurant owners to pay him (her?) or else he/she will write a bad blog about their restaurants (Please Don’t Give Blogging a Bad Name ) has been gathering all kinds of comments from bloggers.   Here is my take on the issue.

If true, the activities of the BBB and the PR firm are a crime. It is a crime to extort someone. Threatening to write negative blogs in order to hurt a restaurant (whether or not it is effective) constitutes a crime. In essence, it is the same as the Mafia’s threat to burn your shop if you don’t pay them “protection money”. Thus, both BBB and PR firm should either be fined, imprisoned, or closed down by the police or a court of law.

At the same time, it is a crime which is relatively hard to prove. BBB could claim that he was acting independently and that the PR firm was just taking advantage of his blogs, or the PR firm could claim that it made no such offer, and that it was misunderstood.  So, it is a crime which is plausibly deniable, and thus difficult to prosecute.

An adage in chess goes: “The threat is more dangerous than the act itself”.  A wise criminal would rather use threats than to actually do what he threatens to do. The US mafia collects “protection money” from shops on the basis of the threat of arson or something else bad happening to the shop. They would rather collect money on the basis of the threat rather than actually burn down the shop.

In the same way, BBB and the PR firm could merely have threatened Georgia (the restaurateur) with coming out with a bad blog review. Ms Salcedo’s story could be literally true, or it could be a creative way of relating a real threat. I suspect it is “creative”, and that BBB didn’t actually write a negative blog about the restaurant. Yet.  So, Ms Salcedo comes out with a “blind article” , or what I would call a creative piece, to warn everybody about BBB/PR firms’ activities. In this way, Salcedo comes out with her own counter-threat, which is: “if BBB does write that bad blog review, he will be exposed, and his reputation will be ruined forever.”  And I think that it worked – the fuzz over the BBB article has been so great, that I think it has prevented BBB from actually doing what he threatened, and thus the article has served its purpose well. It worked better than an article which had actually named BBB or the PR firm. I congratulate Ms Salcedo for a job well done.

The Economics is Wrong
The economics of the BBB story is wrong. Restaurant owners are expected to be so scared of bad blogs that they will pay big money to avoid this. This just does not compute.  After all, how much could a bad blog review cost a restaurant anyway?  I think people will more likely immediately heed a GOOD review (by going to the restaurant) than a bad one. And if a bad review is written, most people will want to get a second opinion on the matter, before deciding not to go.  Because something else must have prompted someone to think about going to a certain restaurant in the first place – and this prompt is not immediately negated by a bad review. So, unless the restaurant is really bad – and this will show by it having a lot of bad blog reviews – a single bad blog review shouldn’t hurt.

I think what will more likely damage a restaurant is if there are NO GOOD BLOGS about it. This should raise all kinds of red flags – why is nobody blogging about this particular restaurant? But, then this would impossible for a single extorting agent to do.

And then there is the matter of the value of a blogger’s reputation. How much does this BBB scheme potentially earn? and how does the potential loss of the blogger’s reputation cost? I don’t think it adds up – the blogger (which we assume should have a substantial following) would stand to lose a lot of money if he gets “busted”.  And the extortion racket could even get him put in jail. It doesn’t pay to do this.

We should also realize that, for a price, restaurant owners may pay for good reviews. They will not make it too obvious: perhaps offering free meals or other giveaways.  If they are desperate enough, they may actually pay cash for a good review. But if this would be the only good review of that restaurant, it would not be a good idea for the blogger to write it. So, the “paid” blogger will only dare to write a good review if the restaurant itself really deserves a good review.

What Now?
Assuming that Ms Salcedo was a bit creative in writing her BBB article, what does this mean to bloggers? to the general public?  For bloggers, the warning is real – there are probably bloggers out there whose efforts to “monetize” their blogs are bordering on (or actually crossed the line) on the criminal. The blogging community should be constantly on the watch for these people.  Today it is food blogs, but it could also be of other kinds of blogs (e.g. travel blogs, on hotels or resorts), so watching out for crooked bloggers should be done constantly.

The public could learn something from this whole incident. They should realize that bloggers’ opinions are only as good as their reputations. A negative blog (or even a positive blog) about a restaurant should always be taken with a grain of salt. The public should not immediately take the blogger’s word for it. They should always consult other sources (including other bloggers) as to what THEY think of the restaurant in question.
If a person bases his food decisions on the opinions of a single blogger, it is his/her own fault if they get wrong advice.

In the end, I think that it does not really matter if Salcedo’s article was creative or literal. I suggest that we treat it as creative, and not get too worried about it. For whatever it’s worth, this article has probably succeeded in deterring the prospective BBBs out there; and that is a good thing.

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