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Netizen to Poe: Two of your resource persons lied

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Facebook user Bernard Ong wanted to call Senator Grace Poe’s attention that two of the resource persons during the Senate hearing on fake news on October 3 lied.

“Two of your resource persons at the hearing you chaired lied in front of you, in front of national TV,” Ong wrote on October 7.

“You did not know that they lied at that time. So you thanked them, said you respected all your guests, even praised one of them as ‘well-researched,” Ong said, referring to how Poe praised blogger Rey Joseph Nieto, a.k.a. Thinking Pinoy, for doing “excellent research.”

But Ong emphasized that Nieto and Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson both lied under oath.

His reasons?

Ong noted that Uson said she does not have staff managing her blog, but her response to a Rappler report later on showed that she does have someone else assisting her in running her blog.

“Mocha lied about not having staff for her ‘personal blog’. She later admitted in her posted response to Rappler article (questioning how she could rebroadcast live hearing while she was seated across you) that her blog is operated by staff,” Ong said.

Ong further said that Nieto lied to the Senate twice – when he accused former Interior Secretary and presidential candidate Mar Roxas of using a certain PR person to put all the blame on the Mamasapano incident on former President Benigno Aquino III and when he defended his claim over photojournalist Jes Aznar, whom he accused to endangering the lives of soldiers for posting “real-time” video of the military operations in Marawi City.

“While that the agencies involved, namely the AFP and the PNP already released a statement saying that Nieto’s claims were not true, his use of this issue at the Senate hearing is proof enough that he is spreading fake news,” Aznar said.

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“This is a lie—a dangerous lie with life-threatening implications to a colleague—that Nieto has trotted out before, sending an army of netizens to call out for the blood of photojournalist Jes Aznar,” veteran journalist Inday Espina-Varona said.

“He lied about journalist Jes Aznar putting soldiers’ lives at risk by broadcasting live from Marawi. Not true. Aznar broadcasted after leaving the site safely – with the soldiers,” Ong added.

He also brought up how the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines called Nieto a “barefaced liar” after the Senate hearing and Ong urged Poe to do the same.

Ong thought what Uson and Nieto did was an “insult” to Poe, her office, the Senate Committee, and the Senate itself.

“It is an insult to your person, your office, your Committee, the entire Senate to have liars come in – take solemn oaths – and lie,” he said.

“That’s called Perjury. A crime under Philippine law. Revised Penal Code: “Article 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation,”” he added.

Ong urged Poe to “correct” her mistake of “legitimizing fake news liars” by citing Uson and Poe for perjury in the next session of the Senate hearing on fake news, where the blog Silent No More was invited to come.

“Not too late to do the right thing. What we really need is Liars No More,” Ong concluded his post.

Sources: ( gmanetwork.com , philstar.com , rappler.com )

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Fake news sites to be aware of this 2018

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With the widespread practice of misinformation using made-up stories and maliciously edited photos, Senate hearings have been conducted to determine whether new laws are needed to stop the spread of fake news. But you can contribute to the prevention of misinformation in your own way by not patronizing the content of the fake news sites that are causing confusion and baseless hate in the country.

In 2017, MemeBuster has published two lists containing websites that have posted fake stories.

The following are sites that MemeBuster has encountered while we are pursuing our cause of fighting fake news.

We have categorized the sites into active and inactive ones, seeing as how many fake news sites tend to be unavailable after some time. As of February 15, 2018, these are the active and inactive sources of fake news that we have encountered. We will continue to update this list as we bust more false stories.

Active Sites

1. Okd2.com

Okd2.com has been an active source of fake stories that MemeBuster has debunked over and over again. It is also quite known for its ever changing About Us page, which now says that the site started out publishing fake stories for some La Sallian students’ thesis, but that it has stopped in May 2017 to focus on serious topics and general information. But La Salle Dasmarinas disowned the said research.

Okd2.com even lied when they said they stopped posting fake news by May 2017. Even as late as December 2017, we still caught them publishing fake stories, among which are about Sanofi Pasteur research and development department revealing that they used embalming chemicals for Dengvaxia, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV hiring Arturo Lascañas and Edgar Matobato as his personal bodyguards, former President Benigno Aquino saying he’s willing to return money he got from the Dengvaxia deal, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising visa-free entry to Filipino caregivers, and more.

This fake news site was also in our first list of fake news sites that we published in October 2016.

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Duterte raises bounty for killing communists to P25K

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President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he is increasing the bounty he is offering for anyone who can kill communist rebels, saying it will be cheaper compared to waging a counterinsurgency campaign. The offer is now up from P20,000 to P25,000.

Duterte made the announcement at the oath-taking of newly-appointed officials in Malacañang. The president also reiterated that his controversial war on drugs will stay despite criticisms over the thousands of deaths and a preliminary examination by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the possibility of committing a crime against humanity.

Reckoning that the campaign against communists would last for at least four years, Duterte has made a counteroffer.

“If you’re a CAFGU (Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit) or anybody here, you kill one NPA (New People’s Army member) and I will pay you P25,000. Kwenta-kwenta ko, mas makamura ako. Bilhin ko na lang itong mga yawa na ito (I calculated and realized it will save money. I might as well buy the devils),” he said.

He also stressed that he has nothing to fear as he has the Philippine Navy, Air Force, Army, and CAFGU.

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In a recent speech to more than 200 rebels, Duterte also made a remark that soldiers can shoot female rebels “in their vaginas”. This comment did not sit well with women’s group Gabriela.

The president also reiterated his resolve to face the ICC and be put before a firing squad if he is found guilty of crimes against humanity to emulate Jose Rizal.

“Don’t worry about me, I can face the ICC. If they want to indict me, fine! I would love to experience what Rizal has experienced,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines denounced Duterte’s reward offer to Lumads for every killed communist rebel saying it promotes a culture of violence in the country.

Manila Auxilliary Bishop Broderick Pabllo said that the statements promote a culture that normalizes violence and attacks the sanctity of life. He also urged the president to promote respect of the law instead of making such statements.

Sources: ( interaksyon.comcbcpnews.net )

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How to spot fake news

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How many times have you fallen for fake stories or seen friends and colleagues get victimized by misinformation? Two Senate hearings have been dedicated to discussing remedies to fight fake news in the country. But you don’t have to wait for any new laws to be created to contribute to the fight. You can do your part by identifying fake news and making sure that everyone who is willing to listen (or read) will know that a certain story is not factual at all.
Here are some eight pointers on how to distinguish fake news:

Does the headline sound too good to be true? Don’t take everything you read online to be true.

Netizens were duped by this obviously fake story with a headline “NASA hailed Duterte as the best president in the solar system.”

Check the URL. Some sites simply imitate the URLs of established news sources.

Some fake news and satirical sites are good at mimicking the URLs of reputable news sites simply by adding “-tv.com,” “-channel.com,” “tv-,” and others. Some also replace the letters in the URLs with numbers to trick people, such as da1lymail.com or theguard1an.com.

Make sure the headline and/or image used matches the content.

Fake story makers take advantage of their readers’ tendencies to read only up to the headline or get their attention using some controversial photo that is actually not relevant to the content. The government-run news agency Philippine News Agency was slammed once for using a Vietnam war photo for a report about the Marawi siege.

Verify information by comparing information from competing sources.

Give yourself some peace of mind by ensuring that you check a story’s claims with different sources.

Check out fact-checking sites like Memebuster.net and VeraFiles.org.

Our website was founded amid the rise of memes that were deliberately made to spread disinformation during the 2016 elections,

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with one of the more serious falsehoods being the meme that contained an invented quote from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong endorsing then Philippine presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte. We also busted that story about the documents that spread online accusing former President Benigno Aquino III and other top government officials during his time of depositing gold in Thailand.

Vera Files is known more for fact-checking President Duterte’s claims when he makes speeches, such as his flip-flopping claims on his wealth, and the statements of other government officials.

Track down quotes and sources to see if everything in the story matches.

Many fake news writers have become quite good at masking the lies by mixing it with some facts. For instance, they would take a quote from a certain person and modify it. If you won’t check and triple check it, you’d really think that quote was accurate. A good example of that would be how a fake news site changed up current CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles’ statement, attributed it to former CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas, and made it seem as though Villegas was telling the government to leave the NPA alone.

Watch out for “filter bubbles” that show only items based on personalized searches and be more conscious in engaging in diverse content.

Website algorithm may guess what you would like to see based on your search history and online behavior, which may lead to you seeing only information that agree with your beliefs and opinions. To avoid this, you have to ensure that you have access to diverse news from well-established sources.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

This is where the need to verify things often start. A world of information is at your fingertip. Just type a few words in the search engine bar, apply the tips mentioned above, and you’ll be on your merry way to discovering whether the story you are reading is true or not.

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