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FACT CHECK PHL Vote 2022

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB groups, pages post FAKE ‘Angel Locsin, Toni Gonzaga’ Twitter exchange

Fake

Several Facebook (FB) groups and pages published a screenshot of a fabricated election-related conversation between celebrities Angel Locsin and Toni Gonzaga on Twitter.

The fake image that circulated as early as Feb. 13 featured a tweet supposedly from Locsin that day using the username @angellocsin.

It read: “Huwag bumoto na may bahid na kurapsyon, sinungaling nagmamanipula ng batas, tamad, malabo at hindi makatotohanang plano sa bansa (Don’t vote for someone with a trace of corruption, a liar, manipulates laws, is lazy, unclear and has unrealistic plans for the country).”

Gonzaga allegedly replied also using the username @angellocsin—already a red flag, because usernames are unique on Twitter. The response read: “Tama! May nanalo na, No to Leniii… kay BBM tayo (Correct! Someone already won, no to Leni… we’re with BBM)!”

The interaction between the two actresses never happened. Locsin’s verified Twitter account uses the handle @143redangel. Gonzaga has no official account on the platform.

Many netizens believed the fake graphic and praised Gonzaga for her “excellent” rebut to Locsin. Some criticized the FB groups and pages that published it and said the profile picture and username in the screenshot do not match those in Locsin’s official account.

Locsin published on Instagram on Feb. 9 an image of the text ‘Never Again!’ where she urged the public to examine the people running in the upcoming elections and not vote for those who are “corrupt” and “liars.”

She linked the post to her official Twitter account in a Feb. 9 tweet. She made no post on Feb. 13 containing the text of the circulating screenshot.

The fake post surfaced shortly after Gonzaga went under fire from her ABS-CBN peers after she hosted presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s proclamation rally on Feb. 8. She introduced, as part of Marcos’ senatorial slate, House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta who was among those who pushed for the non-renewal of the network’s franchise license.

The fake graphic was published or shared by 90 FB groups and pages and has garnered over 121,200 interactions according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. Its top traffic generators are FB pages Brixlie (created on Dec. 2, 2018), Ok. (Feb. 27, 2019), and Inday Sara Para Sa Masa (Nov. 3, 2019).

 

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)