What happened with the show Willing Willi is unprecedented insofar as New Media in the Philippines is concerned. By the way, TV5, the network where the show airs, decided to temporarily stop the airing of Willing Willi for two (2) weeks. This after getting all the flak for that episode where Willie reportedly exploited a 6 year old boy on air.
That episode, featured in this site, got a lot of nasty comments from netizens, foremost of those getting their news over Facebook or Twitter pages. In his farewell speech, Revillame lambasted those who commented negatively against him over social networks, that includes Twitter.
When a Facebook friend Dennis Garcia posted that Youtube link showing a crying 6 year old dancing a la macho dancer, it caused a stir within the Philippine online community. Many people cried foul. When it generated enough power and breadth, the online buzz turned into a raging tsunami that swept the show off the ratings chart and onto the world yonder.
All because citizen journalism took a very active stance against what they perceived to be something very crass and very offensive.
Willing Willi became the very first show to suffer from the brunt of citizen journalism. Yep. And many more to come, if they continue dishing out toilet humor, exploitation of kids and old folks and when the
Oh, fact is, even his show, Wowowee, also got a lot of nasty comments when it was being aired over at ABS-CBN 2.
Revillame was still the same old Willie who never admitted his faults. When he took centerstage and tried to downplay what he did, the Filipino online community was enraged. That rage turned into positive engagement. And advertisers took notice.
Marketers, advertisers, even politicians take note—the Philippine online community has now become the biggest social and political influencer in our country today. Gone are those days when people would just sit down, and just let companies and celebrities dish out mediocre products and services. Nah.
The Filipino netizen has become an active citizen.
The Filipino netizen has now become the vanguard of Philippine values and tradition.
Now, if Filipino netizens were able to bring down a show, will it, eventually bring down a government? We shall see.