FALSE: ‘Photo’ of dead, ‘raped,’ mutilated OFW in video thumbnail

FALSE: ‘Photo’ of dead, ‘raped,’ mutilated OFW in video thumbnail
The young man in the video thumbnail is not the one who was killed

Claim: The thumbnail image of a YouTube video shows a young man who was allegedly raped, killed, and mutilated.

The YouTube channel Paulo Sanchez uploaded the video on Friday, October 11, with the title, “OFW [overseas Filipino worker] sa Saudi Arabia, Pinatay, Tinanggalan pa ng Mata at Lamang-Loob pag katapos Gahasain.” (OFW in Saudi Arabia was killed, mutilated, after being raped)

The preview image of the video shows two photos of a young man alongside a photo of a naked body, implying that the man was the one who was killed.

The channel Paulo Sanchez has 20 subscribers only, but the video already has had 113,203 views as of posting. It has a total of 864 interactions on Facebook, according to CrowdTangle, consisting of 584 reactions, 103 comments, and 177 shares.

Moreover, 28 unique URLs from 5 different websites that had the video and its title were posted on Facebook, according to the social media platform’s fact checking tool Claim Check. Collectively, these have been shared at least 10,000 times.

The websites that had the claim were news24.philippine-win.info, gma-news.philippine-win.info, 247.balitangtv.info, media.balitangtv.info, and news.kanyeisinthelighthouse.com.

Rating: False

The facts: The news report in the video is real, but the man in the preview is still alive and was not the OFW who was killed. There is also no mention of rape in the original report.

The news report is by GMA News and was uploaded on April 9. They said that a 39-year-old OFW named Lemuel Lansangan was killed on December 8, 2018 and his body arrived in the Philippines with no eyes and internal organs.

However, GMA News did not show Lansangan’s face in their video preview image and his photo in the report did not match the one used by the Paulo Sanchez channel.

A Google reverse image search shows that the man in the Paulo Sanchez thumbnail is actually an OFW and vlogger based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In a Facebook post dated October 12, the vlogger told his followers that he is still alive. “From October 10 up to now, I have received over 7,000 messages from fellow Filipinos worldwide, asking if I am dead?” he said. He further explained that the photos of him that were used in the video went viral in 2017 for his post about being an OFW and bringing home pasalubong (gifts).

Also, the original video news report and the corresponding text article that went with it did not say that Lansangan was raped. – Vernise L Tantuco/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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