Marcos Jr. YouTube videos designed to win him election – study

A study found that stories about Marcos Jr. range from endearing viewers to discrediting the upcoming presidential elections in 2022, all with the goal of handing a Marcos over to Malacañang.

MANILA, Philippines — A study by the Center for Public Policy at Far Eastern University (FEU) looked at the narratives of election-related “alternative videos” on YouTube. They found that Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has the most esteemed results, with content aimed at endearing him to the masses, attacking other candidates and their supporters, and even discrediting the election.

The study is titled “Narratives and Tactics in Online Alternative Videos” and was written by Justin Muyot, technical consultant to FEU. In his study, Muyot coined the term “alternative videos” to refer to videos produced by content creators, especially non-traditional media organizations. These videos also contain information that goes against mainstream information. An example are vloggers who produce video commentaries on current events.

His study had the following results:

  • Marcos has the most estimated “alternative videos” on YouTube.
  • There is a conscious effort to center the online discussion on Marcos. Muyot calls it the “BBM verse” which aims to accomplish three things: (1) shame other candidates for criticizing Marcos and his supporters, (2) endear Marcos to the public, and (3) sow discord among others. presidential candidates.
  • Alternative videos also aim to discredit other candidates and even the electoral process.
Where is the war

According to YouTube’s report, there are 45 million adult viewers on their platform, equivalent to 68% of registered voters in the 2022 election. This presents a huge opportunity for campaigning. The lower barrier of entry for video production and editing has made it an attractive avenue for vloggers.

The study found that there is a marked increase in search activity on YouTube for presidential candidates coinciding with the election. Muyot documented that the first spike coincided with the release of individual interviews by talk show host Boy Abunda earlier this year.

Muyot’s study also found that Marcos ranks first among presidential candidates in terms of estimated number of alternative videos on the platform, and third in terms of alternative videos having over 100,000 views – the first being Manny Pacquiao. .

Welcome to the BBM verse

Muyot reviewed these videos with over 100,000 views and found that there is a concerted effort to anchor discussions around Marcos.

These alternate videos are generally intended to shame other candidates for criticizing Marcos and his supporters, to endear Marcos to the public, and to sow discord among other presidential candidates.

The first goal is achieved through clickbait titles that usually contain the word “pahiya” (shame) coupled with contestants who openly criticized Marcos, with video text graphics trying to shame the contestant. Muyot cites the victims of videos like these as presidential candidates Leody De Guzman, Manny Pacquiao and Leni Robredo.

The second type of alternative video directly attempts to attract voters. These types of videos are typically characterized by hyperbolic titles of Marcos deeply moved by his family and followers, coupled with the regular interactions of Marcos and his son with their followers along their motorcades. These videos also attempted to portray Marcos and his family as victims rather than perpetrators and beneficiaries of martial law abuses.

The third type of video attempts to pit the contestants and their running mates against each other. Muyot’s study cites videos centered on the rift between Ping Lacson and his running mate Tito Sotto.

All roads lead to BBM

Muyot’s study also identified that alternative videos also discredited storylines that did not favor Marcos’s candidacy for the presidency. These included direct attacks on fellow presidential candidates. These videos range from dangerous claims that brand presidential candidates to petty ridicule.

Some of the videos also aim to discredit the electoral process, thus only leaving room for a victory for Marcos in the next election – all other results are surely the result of a failed election. One such video even went so far as to claim involvement of the US Central Intelligence Agency in elections in the Philippines since the 1950s.

In closing, Muyot calls for greater attention to these alternative videos. It offers a way forward centered on supporting and building communities around content creators who complement mainstream information and add value to public discourse.

You can read Justin Muyot’s study here on Rappler. –

Shirley K. Rosa