VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video debunking a hoax on Kuya Kim Atienza MISLEADING

A video supposedly disproving a morbid hoax about weather anchor and TV host Kim Atienza has sowed further misinformation because of a misleading headline and thumbnail.

Its clickbait title read: “KIM ATIENZA PINASOK AT PINAGBABARlL UMANO SA KANYANG BAHAY (Kim Atienza allegedly shot repeatedly during a raided on his home).”

Its content actually debunked a false report that said Atienza was in critical condition after a thief shot him inside his house. It quoted from an Instagram (IG) post on July 16 of the Matanglawin host where he said he is “very much alive and still working.”

Kuya Kim, as he is popularly known, has also posted several videos of him biking in Manila and Baguio this week.

The clip was originally published by YouTube channel Showbiz Headliners on July 18, and re-uploaded two weeks later by its Facebook (FB) page and another page called Top Artist Scoop. The latter versions continued to circulate this September.

Showbiz Headliners’ thumbnail also bore no evidence that it was debunking the fake claim about the “shooting” of Atienza. Instead, it had a more emotionally charged display text: “Kuya Kim pinasok ng magnanakaw sa bahay pinagbabaril at nag-aagaw buhay na daw (Kuya Kim shot by a thief inside his house and is in critical condition).”

It also carried these old photos of Atienza, among them years-old pictures taken as he battled a previous illness.

Atienza figured in headlines this September after he recalled an experience in 1986 where he was locked in a bathroom and beaten by “four soldiers who were Marcos loyalists” demanding that he admit to being a communist.

The version of the clip uploaded on YouTube has been viewed over 235,000 times. On FB, Showbiz Headlines’ copy received more than 3,400 interactions while Top Artist Scoop got more than 1,800 reactions.

At the comments section of the clips on YouTube, netizens said they were praying for Atienza, believing the inaccurate claim to be true, while most of the comments on FB called the upload “fake news.”

Top Artist Scoop was created Dec. 10, 2017 while Showbiz Headliners was set up almost nine months ago on Jan. 14. The YouTube channel was created on Feb. 7, 2019.

(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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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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