Netizens fall for satire on ‘first man on the moon’ is this presidential candidate

February 4, 2022 - 2:54 PM
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Image by NASA

A satire claiming former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was the first man to step on the moon is again making the rounds on social media, with some netizens taking it as fact.

American astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first to set foot on the moon. He achieved this historical feat in July 1969 as part of the Apollo 11 mission.

The satiric photo involving Marcos was revived this year by a netizen in a Jan. 30 post on the public Facebook (FB) group SANDRO MARCOS ONLY [SMO]. The text on the graphic also alleged that “America wants Bongbong Marcos dead” because “it does not want the world to know the truth” about Marcos being the first man to land on the moon.

But the netizen’s caption carried a disclaimer and bore the hashtag “#hindipoitototoo (this is not true).”

Despite this, several netizens still took the satiric post as fact. Some expressed their support for Marcos in the post’s comments section, while others called him a liar.

To further legitimize the post’s claim, the satiric graphic used a photo of Marcos first published in an April 2013 issue of the magazine Monocle and juxtaposed it with a photo taken during the Apollo 15 mission conducted from July to August 1971, the fourth successful mission of the United States for a lunar landing.

Shown in the image is the mission’s commander, David R. Scott, as he saluted the American flag planted on the surface of the moon. The Philippine flag replaced it in the satirical post.

A cursory search on FB shows the satiric photo first circulated late last year, with its earliest copy traced to an Oct. 9 post in public group Bongbong Marcos for President 2022. On Nov. 10another copy surfaced in the group TITAN GEL Tambalang Inday at TAtay Na Gigimbal sa Ebak na Liberals — published by the same person who made the post in group SANDRO MARCOS ONLY [SMO] this Jan. 30.

On the day reports came out that authorities were looking into an alleged assassination plot aimed at Marcos, the satirical graphic reappeared. Supposedly, the threat was issued on the video-sharing platform TikTok.

The post in 20-day-old group SANDRO MARCOS ONLY [SMO] has 2,700 reactions, 498 comments, and 1,000 shares as of Feb. 2, while the two posts published last year collectively got 583 reactions, 195 comments, and 232 shares from FB users.

This article was produced by VERA files with Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2022 Philippines’ elections. Philstar.com is a founding partner of the pioneering academe- and media-led initiative to counter disinformation and provide the public with verified information