A broadcast television network disowned a Twitter account using its own namesake that spread disinformation on the micro-blogging platform.
CNN Philippines, that also runs an online publication, issued this clarification on November 16. It also shared a screenshot of the false news item and the link of the page on its tweet.
“FAKE ACCOUNT! We are not, in any way, affiliated with this page. Its previous username ‘cnnphiIippines’ replaced the small L (l) in ‘philippines’ with a capital i (I),” its tweet read.
“Our handle is also verified. We have reported this page to Twitter,” it added.
The screenshot, meanwhile, has a false quote attributed to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Kung nagsasawa ka sakin kasi overthinker ako, okay lang. Sorry ha? I always make fake scenarios in my head that I know will hurt me in the end,” the false quote read.
The fake Twitter account can no longer be accessed as of writing.
FAKE ACCOUNT 🚨
We are not, in any way, affiliated with this page. Its previous username 'cnnphiIippines' replaced the small L (l) in 'philippines' with a capital i (I).
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) November 16, 2020
Twitter users then thanked the network for the clarification. However, others noted in jest that the post and the account itself are satirical in nature.
In the quote retweets, some users argued that the supposed parody account is identical to CNN Philippines’ profile.
“The fake account really looked like CNN before (they changed it now to “NOT CNN”) and a lot of people believed it. Seriously, at times like this that joke was in bad taste,” the user wrote.
Last March, there were also a series of false posts about the novel coronavirus that featured news logos of GMA Network and The Philippine Star. Fake news purveyors are using legitimate news media outlets’ social media post templates to make false posts look authentic.
While it is not certain if the CNN flagged account is satirical, Twitter requires accounts with such nature, including fan accounts and news commentaries to indicate clearly that they are not affiliated with the original or “the subject” they are depicting.
“Non-affiliation should be stated in a way that can be understood by the intended audience,” Twitter said.
Twitter said that if it receives a valid impersonation or trademark report about an account that is not in compliance with its policy, the microblogging platform “may give the account owner the opportunity to bring their account into compliance and we may temporarily suspend the account.”
“Accounts with a history of repeated violations may be permanently suspended,” Twitter’s policy on parody accounts read.
Red-tagged for donations
Last week, Lorraine Badoy, spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), raised suspicion if there is a “cell” within the CNN Philippines that caters to the progressive groups the League of Filipino Students and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines after the TV network shared on Twitter the LFS’ call for donations.
Badoy also accused the LFS of being a “front” organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front.
In its response, CNN Philippines denounced such remarks as “misplaced and baseless.” It also explained that its Twitter thread carries several other donation drives aside from the LFS’ own contributions.
“The League of Filipino Students is just one of the many groups that have launched a relief drive for the victims of recent typhoons. Our Twitter thread included relief assistance initiated by Caritas Manila, Kaya Natin PH, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, and student organizations from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, UP Manila, UP Los Baños, and Ateneo de Manila University, among others,” it said.
“We continue to update the list to give as many options for kindhearted individuals because we believe our suffering countrymen need all the help they can get in this time of calamities,” it added.
READ: CNN Philippines pushes back against NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy's red-tagging of the network, saying it 'strongly objects' to her 'misplaced and baseless allusion' | via @XaveGregorio https://t.co/ed9qlop1cO pic.twitter.com/Q3qkjcgolz
— Philstar.com (@PhilstarNews) November 14, 2020
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines also criticized Badoy for her post deemed “irresponsible” and stressed that her accusations endanger the lives of journalists or organizations.
“By making baseless claims without any proof and casting blanket accusations against a media outfit and, yes, a youth organization, this unelected government official is, in fact, violating two basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution, due process and freedom of association,” the NUJP said.