Fighting disinformation

‘Tarantadong Kalbo’ takes on fake news and historical distortion on social media

Rappler
‘Tarantadong Kalbo’ takes on fake news and historical distortion on social media

Photo from Kevin Raymundo and the Foundation for Media Alternatives

In Inuman Sessions, visual artist Kevin Raymundo illustrates a group of friends talking about media information literacy at a mundane drinking session

Kevin Raymundo, the Filipino visual artist and animator popularly known for his satirical online comics series Tarantadong Kalbo, is using his artistic skills to combat disinformation on social media through a new set of strips.

In Inuman Sessions, Raymundo illustrates a group of friends talking about media information literacy at a mundane drinking session.

The comic strip was commissioned by the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) under the Initiative for Media Freedom (IMF), a five-year program implemented by Internews and funded by the USAID with the support of the American people.

For the first installment, titled Inuman Sessions: Fake News, the prevalence of disinformation online was tackled through an absurd claim that a certain Sarah Elabyu was an NPA (New People’s Army) recruiter.

The characters then assessed the social media post by practicing basic fact-checking methods: looking for the origin of the content, assessing the legitimacy of the photos used, and evaluating the layout and graphic design elements.   

They then continued to assert various methods of catching disinformation online, such as checking for the website link, grammar, headline, and posting date, along with cross-checking with various credible sources.

In the latest installment, released last June 2021, Raymundo illustrates a discussion about historical distortion, highlighting Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law atrocities as the prime example.

The ongoing “edit wars” that are happening on Marcos’ Wikipedia page were also tackled, as many supporters of the late president continue distorting facts on the said page.

Through this installment, Raymundo also sought to clarify the difference between historical distortion and revisionism, implying that revisionism includes a reinterpretation of factual evidence while distortion is the outright usage of false and inaccurate narratives to support a certain agenda.

Raymundo’s simple yet impactful comics strips, which often get inspiration from Filipino pop culture, have made him a popular artist across various social media platforms. His often humorous take on current events acts as commentary that helps further social justice through art. – with reports from Jeff Winxin Collado/Rappler.com