The claim: Former First Lady Imelda Marcos is dead.
Why we fact-checked this: Imelda Marcos’ name trended Top 12 with nearly 10,000 tweets on Twitter last March 23, with speculations about Imelda’s death reaching 14,948 likes, 2,641 retweets, and 568,700 views as of writing.
The Facts: Imelda Marcos’ daughter, Senator Imee Marcos, denied claims during an interview on Super Radyo dzBB about her mother’s supposed death. The senator said similar rumors had surfaced in the week prior.
In an Inquirer.net article on March 23, Eliza Romualdez-Vastos, Imelda’s niece, disproved the claims by showing a picture of the former first lady with the caption “Still strong and kicking.” The post has since been deleted.
A recent Instagram post of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, posted on March 26, showed a selfie with the 93-year-old Imelda – proof that she was still alive.
Similar reports of Imelda Marcos’ death, along with other notable personalities, have occurred in the past years from unofficial news sites and tweets. Fact-check group VERA Files estimated that hoax posts of personalities and political figures can reach over 40 million online users.
To see more about the spread of hoaxes online, read Rappler’s analysis on “Fake news, internet propaganda, and Philippine elections: 2016 to 2019.” – Kyle Marcelino/Rappler.com
Kyle Marcelino is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.
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