With over a thousand shares, as of posting, an article has been making its rounds on Facebook. It claimed that US President Barack Obama called Philippine Senator Leila de Lima “abnormal.”
According to the article, Obama “blasted” de Lima over the drug war in the Philippines. The article even quoted the American leader.
Obama supposedly said: “The De Lima lady she will never appreciate the good thing leaders are doing to this world, you cannot go against the majority unless you are abnormal.”
It then narrated de Lima’s opposition to the way the drug war has been handled in the country, her call for a Senate probe into the rising vigilante killings, and Duterte’s accusations against her as a drug protector. It also pointed out how de Lima was removed from her Senate committee chairmanship in September.
The article was first published by a blog called bbc-channel.com. If you don’t study the site closely, you might be fooled to think that this is the same as the UK-based news site BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), but it’s obviously not. The site does not have an About Us page so we resorted to going through its other articles to determine just how credible this site is.
We spotted one suspicious article that we have busted, which was about African presidents calling Duterte a “hero.” We busted it as a satire article, although it did not stop Duterte’s campaign spokesperson Peter Laviña from sharing the article, not caring about the possibility that his Facebook followers might take it seriously.
The other article they posted about Duterte having the biggest following on social media was picked up from a satirical blog The T1mes.
The fact that this BBC-channel site re-posted satire articles, even without a disclaimer, meant that the site is easily a satirical site as well.
You can also Google that quote from Obama about de Lima and you’ll never find it in established news sites, except in blogs that copied the fake article word for word or in sites that do not guarantee the accuracy of their content.
The article was even picked up by another satirical blog, The Guard1an, that has duped several people into believing that their articles were real.
With the growing presence of satire and fake blogs, it is important to equip ourselves with the ability to verify the articles that we see online. It can be as simple as Googling it and checking if it was reported by other credible sources.
Unfortunately, in this article’s case, so many were quick to judge and mock de Lima due to the fact that even the US president was supposedly calling her names. They truly believed the article, which is sad, seeing as how many Filipino netizens still never seemed to learn their lesson after falling victim to fake articles over and over again.
Be Informed. Beat the Trolls, Share the Truth!