The internet, as many have discovered, offers numerous opportunities to users. In its vast online spaces, people can find a source of entertainment, information, and livelihood with just a few clicks on their screens. And as the world is entering into the digital age where technology reigns, so do the risks that people knowingly avoid.
If you’re not careful, you may fall victim to internet scams, fake news, and troll accounts that frequent websites.
Filipino folk-pop band Ben&Ben knows the risks all too well. In a bid to raise awareness of internet safety and digital responsibility among their fellow Filipinos, they collaborated with Google Philippines to compose a song that tackles the dangers of the internet.
Miguel Benjamin, a member of the co-ed band, shared during the launch conference for their newest single that the advocacy of internet safety is so close to their hearts because of personal experiences and the increasing number of Filipinos thriving on the internet.
“When we got word of a potential collaboration with Google, we immediately hopped in on it. It was just a matter of waiting for the right time to do it,” he said, also noting that the discussion for their partnership started in the middle of last year.
Entitled “Mag-Ingat,” the two-and-a-half-minute song diverts from the usual tunes that the band produces. It uses a catchy and lively tune while discussing online threats, such as scams, misinformation, and catfishing, prevalent in today’s society. It also discusses the importance of verifying information, critical thinking, and being wary of opportunistic individuals, much like in real life.
The song is very timely because it has been two years since the Filipinos, and the rest of the world, for that matter, shifted their daily activities online. But in those two years, threats remain rampant, and the responsibility of creating a safe space online falls to the netizens. As the song eloquently puts it, online safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone should care for the online safety of others.
Other than the present risks online, Ben&Ben’s newest single also addresses several approaches on how netizens can remain vigilant online such as fact-checking, finding reputable sources, and informing others against suspicious activities.
And since the topic of digital responsibility is just as relevant to the band, as Miguel mentioned, the members also practice these steps and even go the extra mile to confirm the credibility of a person or information online by checking different online platforms—and Googling them, of course—to learn more about them.
“Mag-Ingat” is a part of Google’s holistic approach to digital responsibility. Mervin Wenke, head of communications and public affairs of Google Philippines, said that deepening their local partnerships helps in promoting digital responsibility.
“By partnering with Ben&Ben and through their music, we believe that we can teach internet safety to more people in a way that deeply resonates with and becomes part of their everyday lives,” he said.
Watch the “Mag-Ingat” music video on Ben&Ben’s official YouTube channel. The song is also available on all digital music services worldwide.