Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Digital Filipino Talks: Using Social Media and Mobile Technology to Raise Funds and Fight Crimes

Last March 10, 2011, Digital Filipino Talks about Using Social Media and Mobile Technology to Raise Funds and Fight Crimes. Interviewed for this episode is I.T. consultant of Philippine National Red Cross and Co-Founder of Chikka Mr. Dennis Mendiola.

Using Social Media and Mobile Technology to Raise Funds and Fight Crimes
from Janette Toral on Vimeo.

Mr. Mendiola made the following points in using Social Media like Facebook and mobile technology to raise funds, fight crimes and terrorism. He also mentioned the registering cellphones will not be effective in preventing terrorism.

My Views on the topic

A. On raising funds online

Mr. Mendiola mentioned that in order for an online or mobile campaign to succeed in seeking donations, fund raisers should make it a constant marketing effort. Meaning, they should make their presence online more visible.

If I were to ask myself, should I or should I not donate to a particular cause? One reason I wouldn't donate is because I wouldn't be sure if the organization raising donations is legitimate or not. There are some unscrupulous people posing as fund raisers but in realty, are swindlers.

So aside from doing more marketing effort, organizers should also do their best in establishing their identity online. And doing so may take more time and effort to gain people's trust and get them to give their donations.

B. Registering mobile phones are ineffective in fighting terrorism

Mr. Mendiola mentions that registering mobile phone SIMs will prove to be ineffective in thwarting terrorism. He makes an analogy of killing a fly with a cannon. Terrorists will find other means to detonate bombs remotely, or use fake IDs to register mobile phones, if phone registration happens. Plus, logistically, it is not practical to do so because majority of mobile phone users are on prepaid terms, unlike in other countries where registered phones are postpaid.

Although I agree with most of his arguments, I have to say that we must start somewhere. Mobile phone registration still is a good deterrent that can discourage terrorists to use mobile phones for their evil purposes. The big problem is that prepaid SIMs are easy to acquire and very cheap.

The NTC and the telcos who released their prepaid SIMs should make necessary steps to register and control the future release of prepaid SIMs so that they can be easily associated with its owner. Even if it means to phase out older SIMs to be replaced with newly registered ones to ensure the safety of the public. If nobody makes sacrifices - individual or corporation alike, prepaid SIMs can be the loose cannons that terrorists will continuously exploit.

C. Facebook ID to be associated with mobile phones

Mr. Mendiola suggests that Facebook IDs be associated with mobile phones for identification. I say it's a bad idea. Like IDs and sedulas, Facebook profiles can easily be faked. Like creating e-mail accounts, they are also easy and free to create. Friends can also be manufactured to make it look authentic. This can be evidently seen when one joins contests where FB likes are needed to win.

Any system you put up, even with all the safeguards in place can be cheated - specially on Facebook.

All in all, if you are an org who wants to raise funds, or prevent crime, or stop terrorism, the big issue is how to make yourself trusted online. Trust is the key to building a better community.

This is my entry to's Talks Blog Contest. Be part of the conversation. Visit the contest page to join. Feel free to comment on my blog post about My view on Using Social Media and Mobile Technology to Raise Funds and Fight Crimes.

blog comments powered by Disqus