A tale of two rallies

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There are a lot of things that can pop up on Facebook’s news feed. These can range from reports from traditional news sites, fan pages, selfies from personal friend, status updates to funny videos that caught our fancy.

And, of course, there are the cat videos.

On other times, there are some stuff that one finds in the news feed that can be easily ignored.

However, sometimes, even after careful tinkering with personal settings, something that pops up in one’s news feed that just begs to be noticed.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), several rallies were staged on the same day. And pictures and video of those rallies were shared on Facebook. And these cropped up on my news feed. And I took note of them.

Opposition groups organized most of those rallies.

Altered photo

But one photo of a rally stood out. It’s an amazing picture that cannot be ignored.

It is a photograph of a rally purportedly organized by people that supported the President. It’s an impressive picture.

It showed a massive number of people, their banners proudly unfurled, proclaiming “Itakwil ang Dilawan, Labanan ang Korapsyon,” In English, it said “Down with the Yellows, Fight Corruption.”

And notable in those banners was the closed fist and the standard DU30, the symbol of the President’s supporters.

It’s an impressive photograph. If only it is real. Unfortunately, it’s a fake.

And it’s the clumsiest piece of disinformation that I have seen in a while.

It’s actually a photograph of an opposition rally altered to make it look like a very large gathering of the President’s supporters.

In the real rally, the large banners proclaimed: “Itakwil ang Duterte Cha Cha, Labanan ang diktadura.” In other words, “Reject the Duterte Charter Change, Fight the Dictatorship.”

And how did I notice this?

Simple point. I refuse to closet myself in an echo chamber where I only hear or see things that only share my point of view.

I receive stuff from both sides of the political fence. And that means, I can see the posts from both opposition groups and pro-Duterte sites.

Real photo

I am, after all, a journalist. That’s just standard thing I do.

So, when that particular photo showed up on my news feed, it was easy to spot. And the alterations were obvious.

It was such a crazy thing to post, it became really funny.

That faked photo elicited laughter in what was otherwise a serious news day.

And the clincher? Somebody actually made a comment on my wall claiming that the Duterte rally was the real one and the photo of the opposition rally was the fake one. And he emphasized that he will post other photos to prove it.

I am still waiting for his so-called “proof.” But I am not holding my breath.




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