Ilang celebrities, ‘binayaran’ para magkalat ng fake news?

Sa exclusive report ng Rappler ngayong araw, February 27, inilabas nila ang resulta ng kanilang imbestigasyon na ilang Filipino celebrities at influencers nakatanggap ng malaking halaga ng salapi kapalit ng pagsi-share ng mga “questionable content” gamit ang mga verified at official Facebook pages ng mga ito.

Ayon sa kanilang ulat:

Filipino celebrities and influencers earn hundreds of thousands to millions of pesos by amplifying – either knowingly or indirectly – government propaganda, false information, and fake networks that breed online disinformation, a Rappler investigation showed.

Partikular na binanggit sa report ang digital marketing group na Twinmark Media Enterprises na nagbabayad ng mga celebrities at influencers, at mga celebrity fan pages, upang mag-share ng content mula sa Twinmark-owned websites para magpataas ng online engagement.

Dahil dito, mas lumalawak ang reach ng mga posts ng Twinmark na kadalasang naglalaman ng mga ‘money-generating ads, false information, or propaganda.’

Mocha Uson

Ayon sa nasabing report, paboritong ‘source’ ng mga kadalasang ipino-post o ishine-share ni Mocha sa kaniyang blog ang Trending News Portal (TNP) ng Twinmark.

Internal documents obtained by Rappler showed that Twinmark paid Uson’s page at least P1.08 million in 2017. The agency deposited payments to the bank account of Lord Byron Cristobal, commonly known as Banat By, one of the co-administrators of Uson’s page.

Paulo Avelino

Isa pa umanong suki ng Twinmark ang verified Facebook page ng Kapamilya actor na si Paulo Avelino.

Ayon sa report:

Avelino’s official page was paid a monthly fee of P105,000 in 2017 and 2018, totaling at least P2.2 million for these two years, according to the internal documents.

Sa mga panahong ito, kadalasang content ng TNP ang propaganda tungkol kay Presidente Rodrigo Duterte, at mga ‘false information’ o ‘fake news’.

Ayon sa report, ang ‘bayad’ ay ipinapadala sa isang nagngangalang Michael Balondo na presidente ng fan club ni Paulo.

Itinanggi na ng handler ni Paulo na si JJ Henson na may kinalaman ang aktor sa alegasyong ito.

Jasmine Curtis-Smith

Isa rin daw sa nasa ad payroll ng Twinmark si Jasmine Curtis-Smith.

Internal documents showed that the actress was paid a total of at least P405,000 for half a year in 2017. A quick search on her official verified page also showed that she had been sharing Twinmark-linked websites as early as October 2016.

Kadalasan umanong post ni Jasmine ay mga “clickbait articles, showbiz-related content, Duterte propaganda, and false information.”

DJ Chacha

Kabilang rin sa listahan ang kilalang radio personality na si DJ Chacha.

She was paid P30,000 per month. She mostly shared socialpees.com and filcommunity.com, questionable sites known for their clickbait, misleading, or false information.

Ayon pa sa mga nakalap na dokumento ng Rappler, ang bayad para kina Jasmine at DJ Chacha ay ipinapadala sa bank account ng kanilang management, ang Vidanes Celebrity Marketing (VCM).

Elizabeth “Betchay” Vidanes, founder of VCM, confirmed to Rappler that they indeed had an engagement with Fernando Hicban, one of the brother-owners of Twinmark, in September 2016 “for social media marketing purposes to promote health-related, positive-vibe articles.”

At the time, she said VCM was not aware of any violation.

Ayon din kay Vidanes, itinigil kalaunan ang nasabing deal nang mapansin nila na ang mga content na kailangang i-share ng mga talents nila ay hindi na “consistent” sa imahe ng mga ito.

Other celebrities and influencers

Ayon pa sa inilabas na report ng Rappler, narito ang listahan ng umano’y halaga ng salapi na natanggap ng ilan pang kilalang personalities:

Sam Pinto – P400,000 in 2017 and P1.5 million in 2018

Moymoy Palaboy – P1.6 million in 2017 and 2018

Jamich/Michelle Liggayu – P965,000 in 2017 and P1.27 million in 2018

Kasama rin sa listahan sina Lance Julian (owner ng Senyora Santibañez page), UFC ring gril Rovilyn “Red” dela Cruz, at Yexel Sebastian.

(Para sa kumpletong report, bisitahin ang website ng Rappler.)

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