Monday, January 2, 2012 and Social Media "Activism"

Taxi Kick is a new web page which allows people to report taxi drivers who have done them some form of injustice, from refusing to board to contracting fares, to reckless driving. It even has among the choices physical and sexual assault, malicious mischief (I assume this isn't strictly in the legal, RPC sense). Even the bubble children can report their pet peeves such as smelly interiors, improper grooming of the driver or dirty interiors.

This web page however, is limited to collecting information only on the license plate number, and taxi name. I think this web site will serve mostly as a way to expose the different abuses taxi drivers are fond of, because I seriously doubt that this will have any effect on the franchises of these taxis or any other penalties which may be levied through the LTFRB. After all, the complainants themselves do not even bother to identify themselves, and they aren't even given the option to anyway. This could mean frivolous complaints meant to harass rival operators, or just to scare commuters. Moreover, the fact that this website has been established will deter people from filing cases or complaints with the LTFRB or the relevant government agency in the first place.

In the end, Taxi Kick is just another social media activist's convenience - similar to all the pro and anti-RH Bill groups and pages online, as well as groups taking a stance on the Chief Justice's impeachment, or those mocking the DPWH, DOT and other government agencies. Personally, I'm not an activist. I don't really believe in taking to the streets (except in some really special cases) to protest or prove a point. But at least, street-level  activism has some effort involved. Maybe it's just generations changing the  guard, but activism on social media and the internet really doesn't impress me. I appreciate the more opinionated people who at least take the effort to discuss their beliefs, whether or not I agree with them. But merely "liking" a facebook page, or filling up a form is just way too lazy for me. We already complain a lot (whether or not that is a bad thing), but the fact that it is made much easier to complain without necessarily moving towards a palpable solution is just counter-productive.

In relation to, I think the next logical step should be to have an online complaint mechanism in the LTFRB website itself. I'm sure the intentions behind this website are good, but what it really needs is some follow through to make sure that these erring taxi drivers are indeed made accountable, instead of just publicly exposed.

Previous Entries: #1. #2
Daniel Luis Convocar, Entry #3.

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