OFFLINE | Andrea Brillantes and The Filipino Scribe’s darkest 48 hours

FilipinoScribe.com
The Filipino Scribe (www.FilipinoScribe.com) was inaccessible for almost two days early this month

When I was first informed of the alleged private video of Angela Brillantes during the wee hours of July 10, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Regular readers of TFS definitely know the context of I mentioning the following: Ramgen Revilla, Marjorie Barretto, Paolo Bediones, and the “Bagito” high school kids. Needless to say, writing about these sort of things is perhaps The Filipino Scribe‘s dirty open secret.

We all know that the maxim “sex sells” is and will always be a universal truth, especially in the field of media. Maintaining a self-hosted website isn’t cheap, and so from a business perspective, it makes sense to take advantage of the Andrea Brillantes issue. Higher page views means higher ad revenues for the website.

Just a point of clarification before we proceed: Despite the scandalous tone of the headline, the content of the post doesn’t dwell on the contents of the video at all. That’s click-baiting, but at least I’m still doing my best to remain as ethical as possible. And as mentioned in the first paragraph, I’ve been doing it with much success for over three years now.

However, something happened last July 10. An hour after I posted my article re Andrea Brillantes, I suddenly had a hard time accessing my site. Then, I began getting feedback from friends that my site is down. I immediately contacted the technical support of BlueHost. I was told then that nothing’s wrong with my website though I may have to check my plugins.

FilipinoScribe.com
The Filipino Scribe (www.FilipinoScribe.com) was inaccessible for almost two days early this month

The situation remained that way until Friday afternoon. Without any warning whatsoever, BlueHost suspended my website by 4PM. Unfortunately for me, I have to be in Tagaytay City for a professional commitment beginning that night until the following day. Making matters worse, the Internet connection was virtually non-existent in the place where I stayed.

Sorry to sound mushy, but I really felt like a parent who’s away from his sick child then. Despite all the fun activities I had during my stay in Chateau Hestia, I can’t truly enjoy it. You see, I began this website in 2011 and needless to say, I’ve put in lots and lots of effort on this the past four years. Losing access to my website plus the thought of TFS being shut down indefinitely was too much for me to handle.

When I returned to Manila late Saturday night, the website is still inaccessible. In response to my increasingly frantic appeals for help, technicians from BlueHost told me this:

“The (suspension) is just due to the amount of PHP processes your websites are running. You will need to either reduce the amount of processes by removing some, or optimizing the coding that is running those proccesses, so that they run more efficiently, such as theme settings, plugins, etc. This issue is more on the web development side of hosting, so you may need to research further what can be removed, or optimized on your site.”

Honestly, the only thing I understood in that message is that my website wasn’t shut down because of its content – nothing else. For the longest time, I took pride with lots of self-deprecation in achieving success with The Filipino Scribe despite my limited knowledge in the technical aspect of website management. At that point, being reminded of that weakness crushed me into pieces.

Several blogger-friends told me that my website probably wasn’t able to handle the huge volume of page visitors triggered by my post on Andrea Brillantes. Some suggested that TFS might have been subjected to a distributed denial of service or DDOS attack. The second view is believable to a certain extent because this website was able to handle much bigger traffic in previous occasions without crashing.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Ted Claudio, owner of entertainment website Wazzup.PH, for taking the time that Sunday midnight (July 12) to help me put this website back online. Without him, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to do it. Dear readers, please support Wazzup.PH by visiting its YouTube channel and Facebook page.

PS: Does this entire episode mean I will stop writing about viral private videos if and when it happens again in the future? Perhaps not. Of course, I’ve received many negative feedback for this stance.

Let me share with you how I responded to  such criticisms: “If you can give me what I’m getting by writing about the things I’ve written about in recent days, then maybe, I’ll start paying attention to you. If you can’t, then stop talking. Nothing personal here. It’s pure business.”

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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