VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB pages, groups MISLEAD with 4-year-old report on Kanlaon spewing ash

Several netizens misleadingly revived a 2015 report on the abnormal conditions of Kanlaon volcano in Negros following the eruption of Taal volcano on Jan. 12.

From Jan. 15 to 18, Facebook (FB) detected a report by GMA News’ State of the Nation program being circulated by at least three FB groups and a page. It bore the headline, “SONA: Mt. Kanlaon sa Negros Island, 2 beses nagbuga ng abo ngayong araw; alert level 1 nananatili

(SONA: Mt. Kanlaon in Negros Island spews out ash twice today; remains on alert level 1).”

One sharer, FB page Filipino Opinion, wrote as its caption, “LORD PLEASE SAVE THE PHILIPPINES.”

The video is over four years old; it was uploaded on the GMA News YouTube channel on Dec. 11, 2015.

On Jan. 16 and 17, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and a local volcanologist at the Kanlaon Volcano Observatory clarified in several news reports that Kanlaon’s alert level currently remains normal, in reaction to misleading reports being shared on social media about the volcano’s activity.

The most recent bulletin by Phivolcs on Kanlaon was published Oct. 25, 2019, when it lowered the volcano’s alert status from Level 1, which means abnormal activity recorded, to Level 0 which refers to normal status.

The October bulletin read: “This will be the last bulletin for Kanlaon Volcano until new developments in monitoring parameters occur.”

The misleading posts could have reached at least 701,000 people, according to social media analytics tool Crowdtangle.

The FB accounts that misleadingly reshared the story which had the largest following are FB groups Raffy Tulfo in Action Supporters, created on Aug. 3, 2016; Rules Of Survival Official PH- PC Version, made on Feb. 7, 2018; Toledo Political Forum, created on June 26, 2015; and FB page Filipino Opinion, created on June 16, 2018.

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

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