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FACT CHECK: TikTok video shows fake, misleading Marawi contents

1008 fake marawi

A TikTok video depicting parts of Marawi City as modern, snow-covered, and a war zone is fake and misleading.

There is currently no war in Marawi, which was seized by the Islamic State-aligned Maute Group in May 2017. The urban warfare, which displaced at least 350,000 civilians, lasted for five months.

In the video posted by @chrysippusss on March 25 with the text “It’s just a city in Mindanao, Philippines,” a series of clips were used to depict the Saduc-Pub Road of Marawi City as an extremely modernized highway with skyscrapers, the MSU Golf course as a snow-covered mountain with a stretched river, and the city’s fireworks display as waves of airstrike. 

The timelapse of a modern highway with skyscrapers, which was used to portray Saduc-Pub Road in the video, was found to be a stock footage.

Marawi City does have a highway that was completed on September 30, 2021, but it is a far cry from what the video had depicted. It is called the Marawi Transcentral Road (MTR), which spans 18.97 kilometers.

The road construction was funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency to improve the road network of the city, amounting to two billion Japanese Yen or P970.97 million. It was built under the Program for the Support to Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Marawi City and Its Surrounding Areas.

Similarly, the depiction of the MSU Golf course in the TikTok post is also fake. 

The Philippines is a tropical country that does not experience a snow season. The country’s climate can be divided into two seasons, rainy or dry.

The last clip portraying the “fireworks display” in the city as a series of airstrikes is misleading.

The clip was taken by ABS-CBN News in Marawi six years ago while the city was under siege.

Marawi had undergone a siege that started in May 2017 and ended in October that same year, after terrorist leaders were declared killed by the government troops.

As of Sunday morning, the TikTok post garnered over 6,563 likes, 415 comments, 403 saves, 191 shares, and 78.1 thousand views. 

While many netizens were amused by the video, TikTok user @Jyee commented: “Whoever is watching this and don’t know the view of that place, everyone this is exactly what Marawi City looks like.”

The country’s only islamic city has been subjected to rehabilitation in the past several years since.

During his second State of the Nation Address in July, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that Marawi is “now getting back to normalcy,” brought about by the projects and programs established by the national government and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact-check stories. 

MindaNews is a verified signatory to the Code of Principles of the International Fact-Checking Network. (Miah Christine Bontilao / MindaNews)

MindaNews is the news service arm of the Mindanao Institute of Journalism. It is composed of independent, professional journalists who believe and practice people empowerment through media.

23C Saturn St. GSIS Subdivision, Davao City Philippines Tel. No.: 082 297 4360 editor [at] mindanews.com

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About MindaNews Fact Check

MindaNews Fact Check seeks to fight misinformation and disinformation circulating on the internet, news platforms and communities that we serve. 


What is MindaNews Fact Check?


MindaNews Fact Check tracks and debunks fake news, false claims and misleading statements of government officials, civil society leaders and netizens being spread on the internet, especially on social media sites. MindaNews values truth and accuracy in performing our journalistic work.


Why we fact-check?


Politicians, government officials and other public and private figures at times tend to bend facts to suit or advance their vested interests, or their principals, in effect misleading the public. The distorted facts spread easily with the popularity of the internet and the wide influence of social media.


As independent journalists, our primordial duty is to tell the truth and present facts to help the public discern issues and concerns impacting their lives.


How do we rate claims?


FAKE -  if the claim is completely invented.


FALSE - if the claim contradicts, undermines or disputes truthful facts, actual events and official records (i.e. laws and scientific studies)


MISLEADING – if the claim is based on truth but maliciously twisted that gives a different impression to serve a group or individual’s vested interests.


ALTERED – pertains to images or videos that were manipulated to mislead the public.


MISSING CONTEXT – if the claim needs more clarification or contextualization to make it clearer.

Where do you post your results?


We post our fact-checked stories in mindanews.com, on Facebook and Twitter with links to the original piece. We have a dedicated fact check page, where all fact-checked stories can be found. 


How did MindaNews Fact Check start?


Since its establishment in 2001, MindaNews has been living up to its vision of being the “leading provider of accurate, timely and comprehensive news and information on Mindanao and its peoples, serving economically, politically and culturally empowered communities” and its mission to “professionally and responsibly cover Mindanao events, peoples and issues to inform, educate, inspire and influence communities.”


MindaNews was founded by reporters precisely to ensure that reports about Mindanao, an island grouping that has suffered misinformation and disinformation long before these words became fashionable, are accurate. 


Our policy has always been to ensure that reports are thoroughly vetted before they are dispatched and uploaded on our website. 


Our fact-checking initiative with a uniform format started in October 2021 as part of Internews’ pioneering Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator (PFCI) project. Internews is an international non-profit that supports independent media from 100 countries. 


Prior to the PFCI project, MindaNews co-founded Tsek.ph, a collaboration among Philippine media institutions to fight disinformation and misinformation during the 2019. Tsek.ph did the same thing for the 2022 elections. 


Where do you get funds?


MindaNews has sustained its operation through proceeds from subscriptions of its news service  (news, special reports, opinion pieces, photos) and sales of books. It also receives grants from non-state actors.  Editorial prerogative, however, is left entirely to MindaNews. 


MindaNews does not accept funds from politicians or domestic or foreign states for its fact-checking initiative. For the other operations of MindaNews as a media organization in the past two years, we have received grants from the National Endowment for Democracy and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which we use for coverage, staff compensation, administrative expenses and to train other journalists.


MindaNews Fact Check is supported by a grant from Internews.


Do you accept leads from the public for your fact-checking initiative?


MindaNews encourages the public to provide us with leads not only for potential fact-check pieces but other news stories as well of interest to the general public.



Our fact checks include this paragraph encouraging readers to be part of the process: “As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact check pieces.”


MindaNews Fact Check - Methodology

What standards do you follow when fact-checking?


As a news organization, we strictly adhere to accuracy, fairness, balance, independence, accountability and transparency not just in our fact-checking initiative but in all other aspects of our work at MindaNews.


We abide by the Philippine Press Institute’s Journalist’s Code of Ethics. Since we became part of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator project, we have been striving to adhere with the IFCN Code of Principles, in step with our organization’s commitment to non-partisanship, transparency and fairness.


We fact-check a claim that is specifically claimed to be a fact and involved the public interest or the welfare of the people. We debunk false claims using official government records, journals or interviews with experts. 


We don’t fact-check opinions.

How do we fact-check?

Step 1: Team members monitor press conferences, speeches, statements, news, interviews, social media sites, etc. for statements worth fact-checking.


Step 2: When a claim is worth fact-checking, a team member looks for multiple sources to dispute the claim, including tracing the original source document.


Step 3:  Fact-checked claims are then submitted to the editor for copy editing and vetting. The link/s to debunk the claim are always included in the story.  


Step 4: A rating card is prepared to accompany the fact-checked piece, or infographics if needed, to immediately flag readers what the article is all about. 


Step 5: The senior editor takes another look before the article is posted on the website and social media accounts.

Correction Policy

Consistent with our vision and mission as a media institution, we rectify any error committed. If you spot a factual error, you may notify us thru editor@mindanews.com or our Facebook Messenger @Mindanews.


Correction Workflow


  • Errors pointed out are immediately brought to the attention of the editors and the fact-checking team. 


  • The fact-checker is immediately notified for verification. 


  • Once verified, the error is to be corrected within 24 hours and vetted before publication on the website. 


  • Readers will immediately know errors have been corrected through the Editor’s note posted above the article. 


  • The person who notified MindaNews about the error will be informed that the correction has been made.

About MindaNews

MindaNews is the news service arm of the Mindanao Institute of Journalism (MinJourn). It is composed of independent, professional journalists who believe and practice people empowerment through media. MinJourn, which is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission with registration number CN201700385, is managed by its Board of Directors.

MindaNews values its journalistic independence. It started in May 2001 as a media cooperative and in January 2017 registered as a nonstock, nonprofit media organization.  We do not  accept funding from politicians, political parties or partisan groups.

Editorial staff

Fact-checking Unit: Romer (Bong) Sarmiento, Yas D. Ocampo

 

Mindanao Institute of Journalism

 

Board of Directors

President & CEO: Jowel Canuday, D.Phil. (oxon.)
Vice President: Romer S. Sarmiento

Members
Carolyn O. Arguillas, M.A.
Rhodora Gail T. Ilagan, Ph.D.
Amalia B. Cabusao (Doc Can.)
Robert D. Timonera
Ellen P. Alinea