‘Disinformation alert’: Media outlets disown altered social media posts on ABS-CBN shutdown

May 11, 2020 - 2:09 PM
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A media crew cab enters the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center, the office of the country's top broadcast network, following a move by the Philippine government to scrap its franchises, in Quezon City
A media crew cab enters the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center, the office of the country's top broadcast network, following a move by the Philippine government to scrap its franchises, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, February 10, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

Fake social media cards are once again gaining traction online as fake news purveyors spread false quotes of the artists of embattled media giant ABS-CBN and government officials like presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

The Kapamilya network last weekend disowned at least three social media posts that featured manipulated remarks of some of its artists on the issue of its broadcasting operations closure.

The fake social media cards that were used carried the network’s social media template. It also bore the logo, as well as the names and photos of the network’s artists.

The words of Bela Padilla were edited to make it appear as if her supposed clan was “strongly” condemning the “despotic Duterte administration” for the network’s closure of its broadcasting entities.

The fake quote card also claimed that Robin Padilla, a vocal supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, is not a member of the clan based on a “DNA test.”

It was based on a social media card shared by ABS-CBN wherein the actress originally shared her initial sentiments after the network went off the air on Tuesday evening following the National Telecommunications Commission‘s (NTC) order.

The actress did not mention anything about her clan supposedly condemning the administration.

She is also related to Robin through her maternal grandmother, Eva Cariño, the wife of Roy Padilla, Sr., the actor’s father.

Meanwhile, the words of Coco Martin, who has been gaining traction because of his vocal sentiments against Solicitor General Jose Calida and the NTC, were also altered in a way that mocked his perceived manner of speaking.

It also omitted some of his words in the original quote card.

“Maging mapanuri sana tayo at iwasang makapanakit ng kapwa,” ABS-CBN News said.

The actor previously slammed the government for shutting down the network’s broadcasting operations, saying that thousands of Filipinos working in the network will be left hungry following the closure.

He also criticized the government for allowing the resumption of operations of the Philippine offshore gaming operators.

There was also the case of Kim Chiu, whose words were not manipulated, although they were turned into a social media card that caught the attention of Filipinos for its supposed confusing logic.

The actress attempted to make an analogy on classroom dynamics and the government’s closure of the network but later on added she blurted it out during a state of heightened emotion.

ABS-CBN’s original social media card sharing her quote did not mention anything about a classroom but instead, a quote about Filipinos being stripped off their dreams and opportunities.

Chiu was a winner of the reality television series “Pinoy Big Brother,” which served to catapult most of its contestants’ careers in the entertainment industry, among others.

“Sa sinabi tungkol sa ‘classroom,’ nung binasa ko, hindi ko din naintindihan. Haha! Pareho lang tayo! Parang pagpapasara lang ng NTC sa ABS, ‘di maintindihan. Okay po. Sensya na! Nadala lang ng bugso ng damdamin. Sa dami ng sinabi ko ‘yun lang talaga ang napansin niyo?” Chiu said on Instagram.

Government officials like presidential spokesperson Harry Roque were not spared from the fake social media posts as well.

Inquirer.net also warned Filipinos of a doctored quote of the presidential spokesman.

The fake social media post showed that Roque was quoted as saying that the media giant’s closure was a “warning to GMA-7 and ABC-5 and other critics of the president.”

“If you are with Duterte then who can be against you. But if you are not with Duterte then everybody will be against you. You have been warned!” the fake quote card reads.

However, the Palace originally said that it is leaving the matter of the closure to the “jurisdiction of the NTC.”

Roque said that the closure order took him “by surprise.” He added that two “very high-ranking Palace officials” were also surprised by it.

READ: Who will decide on ABS-CBN’s franchise? Palace and Calida have opposing views on this

Duterte has been very vocal about the network’s franchise renewal, severely criticizing it for its supposed biased reporting and tax-related issues which the network owners have denied.

Several other fake social media cards went viral amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and the enhanced community quarantine.

Fake news purveyors are now using the design and logos of media outlets in their false posts.

READ: Fake news alert: Purveyors now using news logos in false posts on COVID-19

Last March, fake news purveyors used the name of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia to claim that the province declared a class and work suspension in the private sector.

It also dragged Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto‘s name in spreading fake news that a whole family in an exclusive subdivision tested positive for COVID-19.

ABS-CBN, which has been dragged the most in recent fake quote cards, reminded Filipinos to always be vigilant of the content they see on social media.

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