One thing that celebrities should probably be warned about before they join twitter is that the more famous they are, the more haters they are likely to have. Twitter is not only a platform for fans to say good things about their idols, it is also where trolls make an effort to create fake accounts just to say terrible things aimed to anger the sweetest and the most mabait of people.
I am a self-confessed Sharonian and one of those kids that grew up reciting lines from her movies. I am also a gay man who has long been vocal about the way people in this country use the term bakla as a way to demean others. I find it offensive and discriminatory.
In an older post, I wrote: "In our country where bakla (fag) is used as an expletive along with tarantado (jerk) and putang ina mo (son of a b****), and coming out of the closet could mean jeopardizing your career , losing friends and even getting disowned by your own family, most people do not have the luxury of "coming out". We can blame it on not having an actual law that protects the rights of gay people from discrimination... but such law even if it existed would only apply to the workplace. We cannot hope to stop discrimination in the minds of people. And until we do, nobody has the right to demand from anybody that they come out of the closet and reveal who they are if they aren't willing to do so."
When I replied to one of Sharon's tweets, this was her reply:
Seldom does a day go by when celebrities are not subjected to abusive posts from haters. Seeing the rest of this thread which I will no longer post because they contain some graphic images, I could understand that a mother and someone that has always commanded the respect of her peers would act this way. Hell, my own mother would even threaten to inflict bodily harm to these trolls if those foul things were said about me.
But along with her stature, Ms Cuneta is also someone that a lot of people look up to, myself included. Seeing her go down to the level of these bashers and even defending the discriminatory use of the term bakla is disappointing.
Given that some of the fans will automatically defend a celebrity without question, and given that some people would automatically think that what their idol is doing/saying is correct, I think it is irresponsible to even reply to haters when you are deeply emotional.
I recall a time when Aiza Seguerra was hounded by bashers simply for being gay. I also recall that while she replied to some of her haters, she kept her cool and did not resort to name calling. I think this is how anyone, not only celebrities, should hope to act in this situation as things said online will forever have an imprint that will reflect to whoever posted them.
Celebrities, more than anyone, have a role to play in social media. While it is appreciated that nagpapakatotoo sila, we cannot discount the fact that the things they say can influence a lot of people. With this in mind, I hope that Ms Cuneta can learn to ignore these bashers because her own anger and frustration only fuels them. And while most fans would just agree and automatically defend their idols, I say these things as a way of looking out for her and the image that she projects.
That said, I remain a fan.
By request, I uploaded some of the threaded posts in this link.