Yet another post by satirical Facebook (FB) page Cebu Dairy News is being taken as fact by netizens. The circulating graphic claims former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is demanding a recount of donations for victims of Super Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) coursed through the office of Vice President Leni Robredo.
Cebu Dairy News explicitly labels itself as a “Satire Page” and spoofs the Cebu-based digital news portal Cebu Daily News. Its Jan. 2 post used an ABS-CBN News file photo of Marcos and added the text: “Marcos files protest to recount Odette donations given to OVP” — referring to the Office of the Vice President.
Its caption further alleged that Marcos — a presidential aspirant in the May 9 elections like Robredo — filed the recount petition with the Commission on Elections.
There was no such filing, but several netizens believed otherwise and failed to recognize that the post was satire.
Some left comments in defense of Robredo, while others questioned Marcos’ supposed action. A significant number of FB users, including one netizen, one FB page (Don Miguel Blog), and one member of the public FB group Election 2022 Survey Philippines, reuploaded Cebu Dairy News’ satirical graphic and, in their captions, mocked Marcos for being “really fond of recounts.”
In 2016, Marcos filed an election protest to challenge Robredo’s victory in the vice presidential race that year. It included a prayer for a recount of ballots in over 36,000 clustered precincts. The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, unanimously dismissed the protest “for lack of merit” in February of last year.
Under the third-party fact checking program of Meta, formerly known as Facebook, satirical content uses “irony, exaggeration, or absurdity for criticism or awareness, particularly in the context of political, religious, or social issues.” These may include posts which users “would not immediately understand to be satirical.”
Cebu Dairy News’ post came out two days after the Robredo People’s Council announced it received almost P40 million through a donation drive for people who suffered from the devastating effects of super typhoon Odette, which ravaged parts of Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. The group is supporting the vice president’s presidential bid.
The satire has over 2,300 reactions, 349 comments, and 551 shares. It could have reached over 384,000 netizens according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, with traffic mostly from Cebu Dairy News itself, as well as public groups PUP Community for Leni and Leni Robredo Mindanao, with both groups labeling the post as a “joke.”
The copies reuploaded by two private netizens, the page Don Miguel Blog, and in the group Election 2022 Survey Philippines, collectively received 652 engagements.
In 2021, VERA Files Fact Check flagged nine viral satirical posts. Cebu Dairy News, created on July 28 last year, published four of these. (SeeVERA FILES YEARENDER: ‘No joke’: Satire increasingly used to spread disinformation in 2021)