Fake News and Election Campaign – Manila Bulletin
• Even before the candidacy was submitted, fake news was circulating on social media that raised doubts about your candidacy
• After the official submission of COCs, further fake news emerged, some of which had manipulated images, others contained information that was not true
• Here are some of the fake news that popped up and then faded away
Campaign season has not officially started yet, but stories, photos and videos casting doubts or attacks on a candidate’s character are flooding social media.
Since netizens seem to find entertainment value in the exuberant information about the weird, ugly, and weird in human nature, passing it on to friends and foes has led fake news to ramp up the social media landscape.
We looked at the days leading up to the candidate certificate submission deadline to see what fake news had been thrown to scare or embarrass candidates.
The Anti-Fake News Act 2017 defines fake news as the malicious creation and dissemination of false information.
Here are some we found on social media:
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who first announced his plan to run for president last September, raised concerns about fake news when a presidential poll was conducted by text message that month.
Lacson was excluded from the survey, according to a report in the Manila Bulletin. Lacson’s Partido Reporma spokesman Ashley Acedillo said the “poll” appears to be part of a “mind conditioning plan” to make people believe Lacson will not compete.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson
(Photo from Manila Bulletin File)
In November, Lacson stressed that fake news and vote buying will be the biggest threats to the May 2022 election.
More than a week after the COC’s submission deadline, videos and articles were also shared by several internet users about the “disqualification” of Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo from the 2022 elections.
Robredo was disqualified after receiving foreign donations for her presidential campaign, according to a video from Cyber posting the Philippines on Facebook. The election commission (Comelec) replied via Twitter that the information was false.
A few days later, Robredo’s camp denied reports that they were giving away “caravan kits” during the volunteer-led national motorcade. According to the false report, the kits distributed included a P100 bill, a snack bar, campaign stickers, pink face masks, and a letter asking recipients to vote for them.
To address this, Robredo’s spokesman, Attorney Barry Gutierrez, shared a video of the kit with a caption saying the report is not true.
After more than a week, DZRH station manager Cesar Chavez apologized to Robredo for a false radio report according to which the participants were given cash.
“The DZRH report is wrong, sorry VP @lenirobredo and your supporters in North Samar (DZRH report is wrong, apologizes to Vice President Leni Robredo and your supporters in North Samar),” Chavez tweeted along with a picture his long explanation.
Vice President Leni Robredo (Manila Bulletin File Photo)
In another Manila Bulletin report, Robredo flagged a photo showing a large amount of her supporters circulating on social media sites as fake news. The picture was that of the Black Nazarene procession on Jones Bridge before the pandemic. It has been edited and highlighted with pink which represents the Vice President’s campaign color.
Edited version of the procession of the Black Nazarenes on Jones Bridge. (Photo from Vice President Leni Robredo’s Facebook page marked as fake) /
The former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and the supporters of the mayor of Davao, Sara Duterte-Carpio, had also condemned a manipulated image of the “unit ride” of the tandem.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (Photo from Manila Bulletin File)
The photo showed thousands of Marcos supporters in red shirts gathered along Kalinga National Road in Lagangilang over the Don Mariano Marcos Bridge. The picture later appeared on Facebook with the hashtag Laban Leni 2022, Ilocos. And the shirts of the supporters were processed from red to pink.
Fake News (Pixabay free photo)
Penalty for those who spread fake news
Under the Anti-Fake News Act 2017, any person who maliciously offers, publishes, disseminates or disseminates false information that may cause panic, division, chaos, violence or hatred among people or groups will be punished by law.
A person found guilty of disseminating fake news is punished with a fine of 100,000 to 5 million pesos and imprisonment from one to five years.
A person who assists a person guilty of the crime is fined from P50,000 to P3 million and imprisonment from six months to three years.
How do you recognize fake news?
The Manila Bulletin recommended ways to spot false information. First, find the source of the news; check if the publisher is affiliated with established news sources or small bloggers who share personal feelings on a particular social media page; Pay attention to the headline or the content. Fake messages are usually not well written, with lots of grammatical errors worded in a way that provokes anger or hatred.
Readers should also check the information they have read by, among other things, comparing it with other sources for accuracy and credibility.
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