Flashpoint Articles: For Viral Use Only

I noticed recently that my friends have been sharing articles that they hate. Either a misguided columnist or contributor said something discriminatory, or the CBCP was interviewed and they said something stupid again. When I see these posts, I try not to read them, because it seems to me that they are “flashpoint articles” or articles that are disseminated because publishers know that it will get a lot of rage-driven hits online. Or do they really think that these articles deserve space in their publication?

On one hand, it seems impossible that they are doing this deliberately. Every time they publish a flashpoint article, where it wasn’t an interview with the CBCP but it was by their own columnist or a chosen contributor purporting and justifying a skewed opinion, then they are risking their reputation. People online often say, Ok I’m never reading [insert name of publication]. 

Despite these booboos and despite courting people’s anger, these publications remain strong. Sometimes due to public clamor, they are forced to apologize, and people always forgive them, not knowing that more often than not these apologies are income-saving tactics and are not really sincere.

But what if they knew that something was wrong with it, and still published it knowing that the buzz will be beneficial for them? They knew that there’s always a way to save face, but they still do it because while they are in the eye of the public’s ire, the article goes viral, their publication is talked about, mentioned over and over again, so does this help them in the end? If I’m correct, then is this a new form of sensationalism?

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2 thoughts on “Flashpoint Articles: For Viral Use Only

  1. I think the Inquirer does this with their open column in the youth section. I forgot some of the other articles but I remember the one that said English is for the educated and Tagalog is for the drivers and yayas. It seemed suspect ’cause just a few weeks ago they also had another “flashpoint” article.

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