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Kathryn Bernardo becomes a target of fake news!

“Fake news po. Hindi niya po sinabi ito.”

Kapamilya superstar Kathryn Bernardo on Thursday, May 12, became a victim of disinformation following the defeat of presidential aspirant and outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo.

Bernardo was accused of mocking the election results in a circulating photo on social media. Netizens believed that she refused to accept that her supported candidate lost.

“7 p.m. nagsara ang botohan. In less than 2 hours, 50% ng resulta na-tally na ng Comelec? Aba, super hi-tech! Tinalo pa ang bilis ng bilangan sa America!!!”

A supporter of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr ridiculed the actress.

“Hahaha alam mo ang tawag d’yan? Improvement! Di niyo ba alam na kapag mas matagal ang transmission mas madaling mandaya? Haha nun 2016 bilib kayo sa smartmagic at Comelec ha? Anyari ngayon? Kasi talo si Leni?! Haha kakaawa desperation niyo!” mocked the netizen.

However, the statement was nothing but fake as young artist Alora Mae Sasam refuted that the actress uttered such words.

“Fake news po. Hindi niya po sinabi ito.”

A netizen even urged Sasam to advise Bernardo’s boyfriend, Daniel Padilla, to help take down the malicious post.

Digital disinformation is rampant in the Philippines

The Philippines have more active users on social media than any other Southeast Asian country, averaging 255 minutes per day. Over 68% of the country’s population has access to the Internet, making it a fertile ground for online disinformation campaigns.

Jason Vincent Cabanes, a professor and researcher at the communication department of De La Salle University in Manila, said that the country turned digital disinformation into a “real industry.”

“We’re seeing the impact of digital disinformation campaigns that don’t just happen during election periods. It’s a sustained kind of campaign over many years to try to burnish the reputation of a particular politician or make people more open to particular policies,” Cabanes explained.

“Although you still see a lot of disinformation on your walls or the news feeds of your accounts, a lot of it is also happening in the small groups. It’s harder for academics to take a look at, harder for regulators to spot. And that creates a whole host of other problems,” he added.

Facebook’s parent company Meta even announced that it took down 400 accounts from the Philippines engaging in “malicious activities” ahead of the May election.

It is believed that this strategy is part of a much bigger plan to put the Marcoses back into power. As early as 2014, pages supporting Marcos have emerged, including troll farms and fake accounts. At the same time, Imelda Marcos wished on her 85th birthday that her son run for the presidency.

Come 2016, Marcos Jr lost his vice presidential bid to Robredo. This time around, he is set to become the 17th Philippine President.

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