(Updated the post with Maxene Magalona’s public reply via a Facebook note to the issue – May 6, 2009)
I got curious with the star-studded TV Ad that started airing on the day of the Pacquiao-Hatton fight. I immediately browsed the site, registered an account, and after confirming my registration, was anxious to login.
After logging in, you can now see the “wall of committment.” You can post your own pledge starting with the phrase “Ako mismo …” and the pledge you wrote will only be visible to other users currently signed in.
I can’t find in the AKOMISMO website anything about their clear cut plans with the wall. Personally, I think the wall of committment will better serve its purpose if it is publicly viewable.
While googling for news reports about AKOMISMO, I stumbled upon this post of IT Pinoy! about Jaime Garchitorena’s email cautioning everyone who have registered to the site and to those who still wish to register, that this maybe a “phishing” exhibition. Garchitorena is connected with the IT company, Edu Pro.
Here’s the complete email:
To all those that signed up with AKO MISMO!
You are now part of SMART telecoms network for potential campaigns in 2010.
The amount of information they have asked is so detailed that they can track you down to your zip code and contact you any time. In all my years of signing up for information I have never had a site require so much information AS REQUIRED FIELDS.
This makes for a perfect voter mapping database and campaign tool for anyone that wants to pay SMART for the information.
Did you think SMART would pay MILLIONS in production and advertising and talent costs for nothing?
AKO MISMO MAY use the personal information you provide to:
• Contact you – either in response to a query or suggestion, or to mail newsletters, documents, publications, etc.
• “Remember” your online profile and preferences;
• Help you quickly find information that is relevant to you based on your interests, and help us create site contents most relevant to you;
In other words the can PUSH information to you which is an important tool in making sure that you can receive even unwanted campaign messages.
• Undertake statistical analysis.
They can use your answers to this PUSH for other mapping and trending purposes.
AKO MISMO shall not be liable under any circumstances for damages resulting from unauthorized use of information collected from visitors to the site.
What if I don’t want to provide personal information?
Providing personal information on the AKO MISMO web site is optional. If you choose not to provide personal information, you can still browse and use the AKO MISMO site, but you will not be able to carry out certain actions.
This is not true. None of the pages are viewable unless you have signed in. This is already a sure sign that their intent is to make you sign up and not just to make you a part of a youth reform activity.
A friendly piece of advice: Go back to the site and change your details please change all the details that pertain to AGE, SEX, and, LOCATION.
Also change your phone number if you like. This is to protect your privacy.
And remember you are still holding on to your pledge of participation in making our country great and they promise not to bar you from accessing the site even if you change your details so you will lose nothing but you will take back your security.
Please pass to all the people you know who may have signed up.
Ingat lang tayo po sa mga ganito.
According to IT Pinoy’s post, Ramon Isberto, public affairs head of Smart Communications denies that they own the website. On the other hand, Yugatech’s investigation shows that akomismo.org is owned by Tribal DDB and that the server is hosted at PLDT. DDB is the advertising agency that handles Smart Communications, according to Martin Perez’s post.
Replying to the issue, Maxene Magalona, daughter of the late master rapper Francis Magalona and one of the celebrities who appeared in AKOMISMO’s TV ad wrote this note yesterday at 11PM on her Facebook account:
I saw this on someone’s Multiply site and just couldn’t believe my eyes:
(quoting the complete email)
First of all, before I accepted this project, we made sure that this had nothing to do with political campaigns. And we were assured that it wasn’t. I am shocked that people actually see this advocacy as something negative and corrupt. Instead of people seeing it as an improved way of the Filipino life, they choose to find something wrong with it. Sayang yung project.
Regardless if you receive campaign emails or not, it is up to you to decide on what to do. In a way, this campaign is also encouraging people, especially the younger generation, to register and VOTE. Just like the “Don’t Vote” campaign in the US, the Ako Mismo org hopes to help in increasing the number of voters. We musn’t be apathetic.
These kinds of people are actually what make the Philippines seem like a hopeless country. I mean, here is this movement, actually trying to make a difference in the Filipinos (since change begins with oneself) and instead of believing in it, there are some people who choose to put it down. I know that our country hasn’t been improving much but come on, we can’t just give up. We HAVE to take a stand. As the commercial says, poverty, inadequate education and insufficient jobs are not the main problems we are currently experiencing. The biggest problem that the Philippines is suffering from is its people’s loss of hope. I thought that this ad would actually encourage the Filipinos to begin changing themselves by deciding not to give up. But now I can see that it isn’t enough. And honestly, I don’t think that anything will ever be good enough for the Filipinos. MASYADONG MARAMING REKLAMO. Nakakapagod na.
Oh well. I just really hope that you guys could give our country a chance. Wag tayo mawawalan ng pag-asa. 🙂
P.S. Smart denied these allegations. They simply pay for spots so that the ad would air. And with the billions of money SMART-PLDT makes, why would they need to make money out of this campaign? Tsk tsk.
This is nothing but a SINCERE project of DDB. What’s in it for them, you ask? The improvement their ad makes in the Filipinos. The way they encourage the Filipinos to CHANGE. That’s worth MORE than billions and gazillions of money. Check out their site here: http://ddb.com As you can see, lagi sila gumagawa ng advocacies. GANUN TALAGA SILA. Hard to believe? Kasi ang Pinoy kailangan laging may kapalit.