A Tale of Fake News: Nurse denies being sexually assaulted in Saudi Arabia

Photo: Jap Nofuente’s Facebook.

A Filipino nurse has become the subject of actual, no doubt about it, 100% fake news after a website falsely reported that he was raped in Saudi Arabia. The nurse, named John Paul “Jap” Nofuente, posted on Facebook on Saturday to debunk the online report.

Nofuente wrote on his Facebook post: “Please don’t believe everything you read on social media. Kindly report the article if it appears on your timeline. Thank you.”

He added a screenshot of the false report, which had this sensationalized headline in Filipino: “Handsome Pinoy nurse in Saudi, raped by five Arabs, a bottle of Coke was inserted into his butt, [now in] critical [condition]!”

The screenshot included an image of a bandaged person on a hospital bed, an image of a smiling Nofuente, and what looks like a small bottle of Coca-Cola.

The photoshop job also included a logo of local media company ABS-CBN, to make it appear that the news appeared in one of its television programs.

One of Nofuente’s followers shared a screenshot of the same article shared in a Facebook group.

Based on the photo, the article appeared on a website called Balitangpanglahat.info. But a Google search today led Coconuts Manila to the website below.

Photo: Screenshot from http://igadomanbos.com/seemore/.
Photo: Screenshot from Igadomanbos.com

AFP Philippines has debunked the false news and shared several links on sites where the story was shared.

Visited today, the websites only have titles saying the nurse had passed away (he hasn’t). The video that accompanies the title can no longer be found.

Photo: Screenshot from https://perma.cc/682M-NWLX
Photo: Screenshot from https://perma.cc/682M-NWLX

Turns out the photo of the bandaged patient on a hospital bed was stolen from a crowdfunding website. He turned out to be Aljun Andrade, an overseas Filipino worker in Riyadh who was severely beaten up.

Nofuente told AFP that while he is indeed a nurse, he has never worked in Saudi Arabia.

AFP said that such clickbait reports are used to lure netizens to answer surveys that lead to online advertisements.

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