Calls made on Reddit to keep copies of ‘fake news’ vlogs ahead of lawsuit

June 24, 2022 - 7:14 PM
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Calls to download YouTube channels and videos of some vloggers for evidence who are known to spread fake news online were made on an online forum this week.

This came after the camp of outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo announced that they are set to file cases against fake news peddlers online.

This was confirmed by Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez in an interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo on June 22.

This campaign against disinformation will start on June 30.

This was the same day as Robredo’s exit from the Office of the Vice President and the launch of the “Angat Buhay” organization.

“Marami kaming nakakausap na mga abogado. Ready sila maging part nitong initiative na ito. Ready silang magsampa at mag-follow through ng mga kasong kailangang i-file,” Gutierrez was quoted in a report as saying.

The veteran lawyer, however, did not name these lawyers.

Copies of video as proof

Following this announcement, some Redditors from the online forum r/Philippines shared that they have started downloading copies of videos from prominent fake news peddlers on YouTube.

One Redditor on June 23 shared a video that showed a computer in the process of downloading the YouTube channel of a vlogger named “Sangkay JanJan TV.”

“I’m currently downloading Sangkay JanJan TV’s entire YouTube channel before he deletes it!” the Redditor said.

The post has since been upvoted more than 1,100 times on the platform.

John Anthony Jaboya, the man behind the channel mentioned, previously told his 981,000 subscribers that he is quitting vlogging.

Jaboya, a vocal supporter of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., gained prominence for his videos that contain misleading or false information related to COVID-19 and the Marcos family.

In the discussion section, the Redditor said that the copies of his videos are for “evidence.”

“I’m keeping them as evidence,” the user said.

This Redditor then shared another post that showed the steps and command prompts for downloading full video catalogs from YouTube.

This was to help other users secure copies of videos from other YouTubers who are also known spreaders of disinformation online.

“For people who know how to Download YouTube videos, please save all the fake news peddlers’ entire YouTube channel along with their videos on it to your hard drive and keep them as evidence against them!” the user said.

The initiative to preserve such content came after another Redditor posted the news about Jaboya’s announcement of him quitting his vlog.

The UVIP

Based on a report, Jaboya is a member of the newly-formed United Vloggers and Influencers of the Philippines (UVIP).

The UVIP is a group of around 30 vloggers who openly support Marcos.

They are currently lobbying to gain the same access to Malacañang for covering events and other activities.

This is the same access currently given to the Malacañang Press Corps.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines previously aired concerns over independent coverage and accountability of the vloggers for this vetted access.

“Wider access is good, but must not be at the expense of institutional media, which has been sidelined during the campaign as false information spread rapidly online, many of which have been traced to the same network,” the organization said.

“The proposal also raises questions of independence as well as accountability for that access,” it added.