Claim: Filipino musician Bamboo Mañalac died, according to several website links spread on Facebook.
“SaIamat sa lnspirasyong Binigay Mo (Thanks for the inspiration)…1976-2020,” the posts said, without providing further information. Instead, the links redirect to websites where videos of what look like news clips were shown. The posts were shared starting March 6 and were still being circulated as of writing.
When clicked, however, these videos only played for a few seconds. A pop-up then appeared, requiring viewers to share the link on Facebook to “uncover” the rest of the clip. The video thumbnails showed a crashed car.
Rappler received links to the claim via email. At least 54 unique links were also flagged by Facebook Claim Check, its monitoring tool. These links all came from 5 websites: netw0rk-channel.ucva.club, livenewsleak.xyz, top-headlines.globalnews-portal.com, abs-cbn-news.netw0rkchannel.xyz, and y0ur0ne.premium-channel.xyz.
The facts: Bamboo Mañalac is “alive and kicking,” according to a post on his official Facebook account on March 11. He also attached a photo of him finishing a recording session.
The death hoax that spread in March 2020 was a replication of a claim that circulated in September 2019 – which was also debunked by Rappler. It used the same tactic, where the websites asked for the reader to share the links on Facebook to watch the video.
The original video that was embedded on the websites was also not news clips of Mañalac’s death, but was of a multiple car collision on NLEX in December 2018.
The Philippine Star also reported the hoax on March 11, saying that Bamboo’s manager Pancho Gonzales confirmed that the singer is alive and was in his home when the false information started to spread.
Death hoaxes are one of the types of disinformation online. In 2019, Rappler debunked 7 death hoaxes. (READ: Year in review: The types of lies we debunked in 2019) – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com
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