De Lima cautions netizens vs fake news about her

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            Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged social media users to always verify the legitimacy and veracity of news items posted across the Internet before believing them even as she commended news website Rappler for fact-checking on fake news against her.

            De Lima, the first political prisoner under the Duterte regime, made the statement after Rappler recently published two stories disproving fake news about her that are obviously meant to condition the public’s mind.

            “I commend Rappler for its effort in combatting the proliferation of fake news and misleading information across social media platforms. Indeed it has remained true to its democratic role as a gatekeeper of truth,” she said.

            “With the continued proliferation of fake news, especially those that are obviously written and disseminated by pro-Duterte groups and websites, it always pays to fact-check the information we read online,” she added.

            According to Rappler, recent blog posts by trendingph.altervista.org and phslidenews.top ran misleading headlines implying that De Lima may get the death penalty once the Senate decides to reimpose capital punishment in the country and that Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa is excited about her impending transfer to Bilibid prison in Muntinlupa.

            Notably, trendingph.altervista.org and phslidenews.top’s respective headlines read as follows: “MUST WATCH!! PARUSAN.G BI-TAY POSIBLENG ISAMPLE KAY LEILA DELIMA KAPAG NAIPASA SA SENADO!” and ““Sa Wakas! De Lima Ililipat sa Bilibid, Bato Dela Rosa Excited Na!”

            Rappler reported that the blog posts featured source videos from YouTube video uploaded by “Pro Duterte Ka Ba?” but the said videos did not mention anything about the headline.

            “[The blog posts] embed just an opinion video, then make a misleading claim in the headline, even if it isn’t mentioned in the video,” Rappler concluded.

            De Lima, who has been constantly targeted by fake news stories by some sinister quarters, urged other media outfits and journalists to join Rappler in preventing the spread of misinformation online.

            “I know that it’s really going to be difficult especially if the State—Duterte, for that matter—is the one responsible for the spread of fake news, but we must still continue trying to free the public from these purveyors of fake news,” she said.

            “Media outfits and journalists have the power and the means to educate people and enable them to make good judgment based on legitimate information, especially during these times when the peddlers of fake news are getting better at their evil tactics,” she added.

            De Lima, who is currently under pre-trial detention for trumped-up illegal drug trade charges based on manufactured evidence, has been continually targeted by fake news stories by some sinister quarters aiming to deliberately tarnish her reputation and silence her from calling out the excesses of the administration in its all-out war on drugs.

            The online fake news about the former justice secretary were mostly shared and re-shared by pro-Duterte pages and websites to various social media platforms, notably Facebook and YouTube.

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