#GetWellSoonDanielPadilla beats #PrayForVisayas
MANILA, Philippines - The 7.2 magnitude earthquake of October 15, with its epicenter in Bohol, has claimed 78 lives as of this posting.
It is no surprise then that people have taken their plight to social media to #PrayForVisayas.
But on Tuesday afternoon, the top-trending topic in the Philippines on Twitter was #GetWellSoonDanielPadilla. The teen star is a regular topic in the trending chart.This sparked an online backlash over the perceived insensitivity among Padilla’s fans.
To be sure, some celebrities were directly caught up in the earthquake. The cast and crew of a film production in Bohol, including Angelica Panganiban and Alex Gonzaga, had gone online or had been interviewed by the press to recount their experience with the quake and express solidarity with its victims.
In past disasters, social media has proven to be an important resource which have been harnessed through hashtags such as #RescuePH, #FloodPH, and #ReliefPH. Because of social media's immediate, broad reach, social responsibility has become a prevalent concern in deciding what to post and not to post online. The anger in this situation may not be as merited, since majority of the Tweets did not interfere with efforts to harness social media, unlike the “selfie” incidents in the past which involved official hashtags.
Rappler did a quick scan on social media listening tool Radian6 . Here's the conversation cloud: the larger the word, the more people were talking about it.
Fans of Padilla defended themselves by saying that others should not interfere with their hashtags and that they were just minding their own business. It was their persuasion that, as they were keeping to themselves, they were fully within their rights to wish Padilla well.
Robert Alvarez is a Rappler intern.