VERA FILES FACT CHECK: No, this man DID NOT get cancer from playing Mobile Legends

The popular mobile game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, has been ridiculously blamed on social media as a cause of stage-four colon cancer.

Posted April 6 by website updatedtayo.info, which has a history of publishing false and misleading content, the story bore the headline:

Binata, Nagkaroon ng Stage 4 na C₳ncer [sic] Dahil sa Kakalaro ng Mobile Legends (Young man gets Stage 4 cancer from playing Mobile Legends).”

The headline wrongly attributed the cause of the illness to the mobile game and is not supported by the content, which merely paraphrased and quoted the account of a netizen who claimed a tumor had recently been found in his colon.

The first sentence alone indicated the report is about the account of a young man who “allegedly” developed an illness due to excessive gaming.

In his account, the netizen said he regrets his unhealthy lifestyle, adding that he used to skip meals and stay overnight playing.


A July 2018 study by behavioral science and social marketing researchers in the United Kingdom backs up the netizen’s observation and says the sedentary behavior of gamers, instead of the mobile game itself, is a “strong risk factor” for developing colorectal and prostate cancer in men.

Sedentary behavior involves “performing activities in a sitting or lying position while using low levels of energy” including leisure, work, and transportation activities.

The study noted it is also usually measured by “quantifying television viewing, video game use, or general screen time.”

Updatedtayo.info’s misleading story was published about a week after a big tournament on the game, called Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League - Philippines, kicked off on March 23.

It could have reached over 1.1 million people, with traffic to the story largely coming from the pages Filipino Vlog, CHoOx TV and Angat Pilipino.


(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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