By now, we all know the ~*power*~ social media holds, and people "getting canceled" happens almost every day. Over the holiday break, an American student named Mimi Groves withdrew from her "dream college" after an old video of her saying a racial slur went viral. According to a report by The New York Times, Mimi Groves was "among many incoming freshmen across the country whose admissions offers were revoked by at least a dozen universities after videos emerged on social media of them using racist language." The video, which Mimi Groves took in 2016 and which was reposted by a classmate, has heavily affected her future, possibly even her family members' lives. It's one reminder that we should be extremely careful with what we post online.
Locally, there have been many instances where people's old posts drastically *ruined* their reputations. In September 2020, a Facebook commenter made a rape remark about Liza Soberano, and the actress filed a formal complaint against her. The commenter later shared an emotional statement on Facebook, saying that she made the rape remark in private and that it was never meant to be seen by others.
This weekend, a controversial 19-year-old Pinoy Big Brother: Connect housemate from General Santos City named Russu Laurente, who previously voiced his opinions regarding the "shutdown" of the show's home network ABS-CBN, was evicted after receiving the least number of votes through Kumu and text votes. In 2020, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises denied ABS-CBN Corporation's application for a fresh 25-year license and it officially went off-air. ABS-CBN's shows continued to air online, but the network eventually retrenched workers following the shutdown.
Russu reportedly had public tweets that included "#YesToABSCBNShutdown" and many questioned why he even joined the ABS-CBN reality show in the first place. When he was nominated, many immediately called for Russu's eviction.
Russu addressed the issue on the show, saying: "Hindi ko po kasi alam yung back story noong sinabi sa amin na isasara yung ABS-CBN...Lalo na hindi ko pa po nakikita [kung] gaano kalungkot yung mga kaibigan ko na nag-aartista, yung about sa ABS-CBN, napabilang po ako sa mga emotion na nakikita ko sa netizens po Kuya na galit na galit po sila...And noong na-feel ko po yung naramdaman ng mga nagtatrabaho sa ABS-CBN, na-realize ko po na mali." Another PBB housemate, Crismar Menchavez, admitted to supporting the shutdown on air, saying: "I'm ashamed of it and I'm sorry po talaga, Kuya."
Comments on the PBB YouTube clip include: "Lesson learned: Think twice before you post anything!" and "We can forgive but we can't forget."
Pinoy Big Brother host Toni Gonzaga took to Instagram to ask for understanding for Russu, whom she says was evicted "because of a mistake he did that eventually made him realize the damage it has done." Toni asked people not to judge and "crucify" him on social media. Another PBB host, Robi Domingo, wrote on Twitter: "I just want to give my utmost respect to Russu's family, most [especially] his kuya, whom I got to talk to. We have to admit that something is wrong with the system...but it also gives us that opportunity to learn from each other and grow. Remember, there is always hope in humanity."