Fake News Alert: National polling firm calls survey on VP Robredo’s mental health a hoax

Photo: ABS-CBN News

No surprises here — the spread of fake news continues in the Philippines.

National polling firm Social Weather Stations (SWS) said today that an online article that reported a huge percentage of Filipinos believe Vice President Leni Robredo has a mental problem is fake.

The article was published by a website called Daily Readers. Titled in Filipino as 45 percent of Filipinos believe that VP Robredo has a ‘mental problem’ — SWS, the article still appears on the site as of today.

Screenshot of the false article as it appears on Daily Reader. Screenshot from the website.
The false article as it appears on Daily Reader. Screenshot from the website.

In a statement posted on its official website, SWS said: “[T]he public is hereby informed that SWS has not conducted any survey related to the state of mental health of any public official or person. SWS strongly condemns the spread of misinformation with malicious intent.”

SWS also said that the results of all of its official surveys are posted on its website, www.sws.org.ph.

Daily Reader describes itself as “a website that shares political views, current events, viral or trending on social media sites and opinions of different netizens.”

None of its articles have bylines, nor does the site mention the names of its publisher or editors.

Many Filipinos are aware that fake news has become widespread in the country. In fact, a survey yesterday released by Pulse Asia Research showed that 79 percent of its respondents believed that fake news is ubiquitous on social media.

Yet it is unclear how people differentiate real news from fake. Social media accounts of legitimate news organizations in the Philippines occasionally receive comments from netizens calling them purveyors of false news.

However, controversial blogger and former Duterte communications official Mocha Uson continues to have a loyal fan base — this despite spreading misinformation several times on her Facebook account.

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