Revisionism becoming rife amid signs the descendants of the former dictator have never been closer to a political comeback
Its basically like playing in the sandbox. You build a sandcastle and then another kid comes along and just kicks it over. Thats how it feels to be on the front lines of information warfare in the Philippines, explains computer programmer Carlos Nazareno.
The 39-year-old is one of a handful of committed Wikipedians who edit sensitive pages about Philippine history, including that of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the years he ruled the country under martial law.
The task has taken on greater significance in recent months, amid concerns the former ruling family is closer than ever to making a political comeback, and fears the incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte is using similar tactics. Duterte declared martial law in May to crush an Islamist insurgency on this island of Mindanao a state that has since been extended until 31 December.
Narazeno will spend hours ridding a page of untruths, cleaning up historical revisionism and backing it up with sources, even though there is a high chance another user will come along and kick over the sandcastle deleting it all in one go.
Back and forth the cyber tussle goes, a series of deletions, restorations and revisions, until it finally spirals into what is known in Wikipedia world as an edit war.
Its emotionally draining, admits Nazareno, who nevertheless feels compelled to continue.
Marcos family a spectre over Philippine politics
For decades there has been a concerted campaign to paint the Marcos family in a more benign light, but it was ratcheted up on Wikipedia late last year, and the controversial edits continue.