One TikTok at a time, historian Mighty Magulang corrects the flood of disinformation on the platform that has Gen Z and young millenials seeing a multiverse that's not grounded on facts.
Mona Magno-Veluz, 54, digs deep into paper and ink records to show her 422,000 followers that a "ctto" or copyright to the owner can never support what a TikTok account claims is fact. While her videos rake in millions of views, Veluz said just 1% read the article links that she attaches to them.
"That's also a cause for concern kasi people are not reading anymore. People just want to listen or watch a video e papaano na lang kung ang pinapakinggan nila o pinapanood nila are not reliable sources of information?" she said.
How to consume history on TikTok
TikTok users who spend hours doomscrolling should first understand the algorithm, which determines what goes in the feed or FYP, Veluz said. If you finished a video from a creator you hate just so you can comment on it, chances are, the algorithm will drive it to more viewers.
Also avoid watching videos from people with multiple community violations and those who frequently share disinformation or questionable content. "Create relevant, engaging content and call out historical denialism as it happens," she said.
If you can't verify the identity of the content creator, don't watch or share the videos. "A lot of the content creators now don't show their face, you don't know who they are. So papaano mo ma-check ang source nila?"
After your TikTok binge, grab a book, Veluz said.
"Yes, short-form video is okay, but it is just to trigger your interest. It should be a call to action na hahanap ako ng dapat basahin."
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The history of Mighty Magulang
Veluz worked in corporate communications and strategic marketing for more than 30 years. She retired early to advocate for people with autism and pursue her passion for genealogy. By tracing family lineages and exploring their stories, she discovered her love for history, she said.
The mom of three adults and 19 cats (hence the "meow-meow" intro in her posts) was initially self-conscious as her history TikToks would go against dance challenges, something she said she would never do to avoid embarassing her kids.
Veluz took on the name "Mighty Magulang" for self-empowerment after her eldest son was diagnosed with autism. "You don't need superpowers to be a Mighty Magulang, you can just be informed, be aware and be educated".
"Kahit mga anak ko lang manood ng materials ko about history, masaya na ako. It wasn't my objective to go viral, or educate people," she told reportr.
Veluz's content is a mix of "today in history", birth and death of famous Filipinos, political explainers, random musings, and the family lineages of prominent politicians, with each video taking her some three hours to produce. She also creates quizzes for her "bibo" followers.
Revisionism is "not bad per se" when it corrects historical accounts with new evidence, but never denialism, which distorts narratives that are supported by fact.
"Kung German ako at sasabihin ko, 'in my humble opinion, the Holocaust was good for our country, it was our golden years, ctto,' puwede akong makulong for being a Holocaust denialist," she told her followers in a viral TikTok video with almost one million views since posted on May 14.
There's richer appreciation for history when its relevant, even at TikTok where where the internet-savvy can get their daily dose of cute pet videos and misleading information, Veluz said.
"Considering our experience during the election and growth of historical denialism, there is now a thirst among young people to look for books, look for information about history, and I think that's a good thing."