#WeBlockAsOne: KathNiel’s fanbase launches ‘report and block’ campaign vs cyber-trolls

May 15, 2020 - 12:42 PM
Love team partners and real-life couple Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. (Philstar/File photo)

The hashtag #WeBlockAsOne dominated the Philippine trends list on Twitter after fans of Kapamilya artists Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla launched a massive report-and-block campaign against a pro-administration blogger who attempted to bully the two celebrities online and other online trolls. 

Bernardo and Padilla, who kept themselves out of politics for several years, took to Instagram to express their dissent against the closure of ABS-CBN, their home network, on May 13. They used the hashtag and banner #LabanKapamilya in their posts..  

The country’s largest broadcaster signed off the air on May 5 in compliance with the cease-and-desist order of the National Telecommunications Commission following the lapse of their franchise.  

Bernardo specifically encouraged her young Filipino fans to speak up their views on important issues.

“Sa mga kabataansana huwag kayong matakot. Kasi kagaya niyo rin akonatakot ako. Pero kung hindi kasi tayo magsasalita ngayonsino? Tayo ‘yung magmamana ng Pilipinas, kaya may karapatan tayo,” she said. 

READ: #LabanKapamilya: KathNiel stresses importance of speaking up amid ABS-CBN shutdown

Padilla, meanwhile, addressed those who were harassing his colleagues and other Filipinos who still support ABS-CBN to respect their opinion and theieconomic struggles.  

“Alam ko na kung anuman ang halaga sa amin ng ABS-CBN ay maaaring hindi iyon ang halaga nito sa inyo. Pero sana ho huwag tayong makalimot na rumespeto sa pinagdadaanan ng iba,” he said. 

On May 14, after they made headlines because of their personal statements, a blogger named Banat By, a vocal supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte and his policies, started a video live stream on Facebook to air his clap-back against them.  

Banat By is also handling the official Facebook page of blogger and public official Mocha Uson, who is also a Duterte supporter.

Facebook post of Mocha Uson Blog showing Banat By as admin of the page. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Banat By’s post reached the fandom of Bernardo and Padilla or KathNiel fans and launched a massive report and block initiative against the blogger and other online trolls.  

Their fan accounts on Twitter used the hashtag #WeBlockAsOne and peaked at 143,000 tweets as of writing.  

Spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severo, who was also a known close friend of Bernardo, shared that KathNiel fans managed to stop Banat By’s live-stream event 

However, the blogger started another livestream on YouTube and specifically questioned Padilla’s statements. The video titled “Bakit mali si Daniel Padilla, is still accessible on his YouTube account, as of writing.

Screenshot by Interaksyon on YouTube

Joined by other personalities  

Francis “Kakie” Pangilinan, daughter of Sharon Cuneta and Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, also shared her difficulties in coping with the harsh comments of her online haters as she joined the report-and-block trend.  

For all the times you managed to make me question myself worth, for all the times you threatened to find me, hurt me, kill me, for all the times you tried to silence me, and for everyone who’s felt the same — for everyone who deserves better,” Kakie said.  

She also attached screenshots of these comments sent through her private messages and Instagram comments.  

Filipino VJ Robi Domingo likewise tweeted that it’s about time to end “bashing, trolls and fake news” on social media.  

Activist Vince Liban, meanwhile, lauded Bernardo and Padilla for the positive influence they had on their fans.  

“We really have to give it to the KathNiel for being a progressive fanbase and to Kath and DJ for having the courage to speak up against the injustices,” Liban said 

Lawyer Gideon Peña also showed support on their campaign against harmful accounts of Duterte supporters.  

“Your freedom to troll ends where our freedom to block begins,” he said. 

‘Starve the trolls’

Other online users praised the KathNiel fans’ initiative and also joined them in their movement against cyber trolls.

“Grabe talaga power ng KathNiels! You really can’t mess with them. Also great job for standing up for what’s right hehe,” a Twitter user said.

Some Filipinos also gave advice on how to make the movement work.

“PRIORITIZE THE TALKING HEADS. These are Pages/Accounts na pinagmumulan ng talkpoints ng mga troll. Organize a Mass Reporting on those, but the schedule has to be confidential. Very important detail: Keep screenshots of the FB violations (w/ timestamps if possible),” Yacob said.

Some Filipinos previously recommended the report and block suspected troll accounts procedure after alleged waves of copy-paste arguments defending Duterte’s remarks made rounds online.  

Last March, online users managed to take down the Mocha Uson Blog with around six million followers on Facebook after they launched massive online reporting. The Facebook page became unavailable for a few hours but it was later reactivated and is still accessible as of writing.

During the height of online massive reporting, #MochaUsonisOverParty made it to the world trends list on Twitter.