Aired on GMA Network’s primetime newscast 24 Oras on August 2, Tuesday, Christopher Lao, who drove his car to a flooded street in Quezon City, instantly became a subject for insult online.
The video ripped from GMA News became viral on YouTube and was shared across social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The UP Law graduate who is currently reviewing for the upcoming bar examinations received numerous insults and negative remarks placing his name on Twitter’s Trending Topics worldwide. A Facebook fan page was also created under his name.
Coincidentally, the news organization who aired the video was the same one who recently released a campaign pertaining to responsible online behavior via Think Before You Click.
Concerned citizens blamed GMA News for irresponsible reporting saying that there are more important news to air rather than covering a tabloid-ish story like this.
GMA News Online’s editor-in-chief Howie Severino, on behalf of GMA News, issued a statement regarding the cyber bullying incident:
“Mr. Lao was already victimized by the flood and a lack of warnings. He shouldn’t be victimized again. Many of us could have been in his situation. We are urging the public to stop the insults. We regret that our video, which was meant to provide a lesson for all motorists, was used in any way to make fun of another person.”