WARNING: Most of this column, particularly what follows paragraph 5, is fake. The byline, though, is accurate.
I'm making this clarification because a few days ago, a fact checker from Rappler contacted me. She wanted to confirm if I had really written a recent ABS-CBN News story shared in a Facebook troll page called "The President Duterte Guardians."
Now, I'm a columnist for ABS-CBN, not a staff reporter, and I hadn't written anything for some time. Clicking on the link the fact checker gave, I found my alleged report, posted by a certain Florencio Solis III. It had a photo of a group of people, and the following crudely written head: "ABS-CBN News, CBCP, Rappler and Vera Files to suspend Facebook accounts who are against Ocho Derecho." Dated April 18 2019, it was presented complete with ABS-CBN styling and logo. It had been shared more than a hundred times.
Beneath was my byline: "Alan Robles."
Eager to learn the details of my report, I clicked on the post. Nothing happened. The whole block was just an image. There was no actual report. The post was fake. Phony. Spurious. As bogus as Marcos' medals, Imee's college diploma, and the government's figures on the war on drugs.
Wait, I imagine a smelly troll would argue, maybe I had written a report and had forgotten about it. Maybe I was absentminded? Fair enough. Everybody can be absentminded. For example Bongbong Marcos keeps forgetting to say he never finished college and his fortune is based on plundered loot.
But the problem is there was NO actual story on the ABS-CBN site. And the photo tacked on to the post was stolen from another news story with no relation to the imaginary headline.
This led me to the conclusion that a sleazy troll had faked the whole thing. Who knows, perhaps the troll secretly aspired to write for ABS-CBN News, but having zero skills and extreme body odor, knew that he'd never get accepted. That if he even tried to go inside the building, the security guard would take one look at him and laugh loudly, maybe even pepper spray him. Or blast him with the fire hose. So, the sleazy troll took the easy way out and faked the story, but being too stupid to write several complete sentences, decided to just write a clumsy headline. He chose my byline because he needed a credible name, something more believable and less laughable than "Mark Lopez", "Benedict Ignacio" or "Paul Farol."
Then he used cheap software to paste the story on an ABS-CBN template. Then he arranged for it to appear in a troll FB page. And after that he went off to write a matrix for Malacañang.
All that effort and for what? You see, the troll failed to realize one thing: the fake story is totally inconceivable. It's based on a wrong premise. ABS-CBN News, CBCP, Rappler and Vera Files DON'T have the power to order Facebook to suspend accounts. This is nonsense. Everybody knows that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg only takes orders from one group: the reptoid inhabitants of the insane planet Trollala orbiting the malignant garbage star Orion P-Rez.
Anyway, the most important takeaway from this incident is that: maybe I've found a new income stream. I could start faking ABS-CBN stories with my byline then go to the company and collect payment for pictures of my alleged article.
Hopefully they won't pay me with pictures of checks.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.