With the aim of further intensifying the public’s anticipation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration today, the Presidential Communication Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) urged Twitter users to use the hashtag #PartnerForChange. In return, they will receive a virtual personalized message from the new President.
— PCDSPO (@pcdspo) June 30, 2016
Many users appreciated PCDSPO’s online gimmick, with a lot of them commending the agency’s effort in doing so.
— Iri$h Chri$tianne (@IrishDDizon) June 30, 2016
However, it didn’t take long for Twitter users with weird handles and usernames to hijack PCDSPO’s well-meaning #PartnerForChange online gimmick. Thanks to them, PCDSPO ended up sending personalized greetings to Twitter users with names like “Pekpek,” “Bukkake,” among others.
Political organizations have long tried to control the flow of discussion on social media, but such efforts can potentially go off the rails. In the United States, for example, rival presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush both experienced having their social media gimmicks end up in embarrassment.
Last year, American netizens lampooned the launch of Bush’s “Jeb Can Fix It!” slogan, with many of them saying that it sounds more like a television show for home makeovers. Bush eventually lost the Republican Party presidential nomination to businessman Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to reach out to voters of Latino descent, Clinton’s presidential campaign released an article likening the former Secretary of State to an “abuela,” the Spanish word for grandmother. Her critics slammed her for what they described as a blatant attempt at “Hispandering.”