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Miss Universe PH condemns cyberbullying, urges pageant fans to be 'proactive in uplifting and empowering women'

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Mar 27, 2024 10:47 am

The Miss Universe Philippines organization released a statement strongly condemning cyberbullying towards the organization, candidates, and anyone connected to the pageant.

"This includes but is not limited to bullying, threatening, and derogatory remarks made in the MUPh social media platforms," the pageant organization said in an Instagram post on Tuesday, March 26, noting that its "harmful effects" on a delegate's mental and physical health "can last long after the pageant."

According to the MUPh, social media has turned into a "damaging, dangerous, and toxic environment" for pageant hopefuls and they are looking to "create a safe space" for them by monitoring their digital platforms on a regular basis. This is "to ensure that no derogatory, rude, mean, offensive comments persist and will be deleted immediately," they said.

"Users, bloggers, accounts, persons or organizations that consistently engage in this toxic and negative behavior shall be immediately blocked and reported," they added.

They also warned that they will file a report for cyberbullying and online threats under the Republic Act. 10175 or Anti Cybercrime Law, which penalizes punishable acts of cyberbullying, including cyberstalking, online libel, identity theft, among others. Any person found guilty of these offenses shall be punished with imprisonment of prision mayor or a fine of at least P200,000 "up to a maximum amount commensurate to the damage incurred or both."

The MUPh organization urged pageant fans to "stop normalizing toxicity and cyberbullying" online.

"We can only control our own social media platforms. But it is our hope that other social media accounts and bloggers would be inspired to do it as well. Let us be proactive in uplifting and empowering women," they added.

The statement comes after pageant fans were seen pitting delegates against each other in the comments section of their posts, leaving derogatory remarks to uplift their own bets.

In 2023, the reigning Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee aired her sentiments on the criticisms she received from pageant fans online after taking home the highly coveted crown. According to her, beauty queens "should use their platform to lead by example."

"Grateful that #mmdverse knows that I do not tolerate cyberbullying or hate speech of any kind. Proud of us," she wrote in a post on X.

The MUPH organization has yet to announce the date for the fifth edition of the pageant.

Michelle is set to crown her successor, who will also represent the Philippines at the 73rd Miss Universe 2024 pageant that will be held in Mexico on Sept. 28.