It is often said on websites that sharing is caring, but if the information being shared cannot be verified or proven accurate it is then a gossip.
Philippine officials have warned Filipinos against spreading false information on social media about electoral fraud at the height of overseas absentee voting as it is an offense against the cybercrime law of the United Arab Emirates.
This comes as posts purportedly about election cheating at the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabu has been making rounds on Facebook since the month-long voting for overseas Filipinos commenced on April 9.
According to Gulf News, Vice Consul Rowena Daquipil, in charge of overseas voting in Abu Dhabi, has debunked a Facebook post by a certain “Rafael” who claimed that he voted for presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte but the vote-counting machine instead registered his vote for administration candidate’s Mar Roxas.
“We have received no official complaints regarding this. We cannot trace the origin of the post because it’s been shared numerous times and has gone viral,” Daquipil was quoted as saying. She added that as the post does not bear a traceable author and no official complaint has been lodged relating to the incident casts doubt on the authenticity of the claim.
Other similar posts on social media with dubious reputation include Duterte receiving zero votes; tallying of votes will only be done as the election peroid concludes.
“If they have complaints, they should tell poll officials, poll watchers, and file an official complaint and we will send it to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for immediate action. These are simply vicious attacks on our integrity, on the integrity of the ballot,” the vice consul was quoted as saying.
In Dubai, Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes urged Filipinos to be guarden when sharing information on social media since rumormongering is a criminal offense that carries a penalty of imprisonment and a fine of up to AED1 million.
Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez said the said none of the claims posted on social media have been proven factual so far.
“These vote-rigging claims have to be addressed firmly because they undermine the confidence in the election,” Jimenez said.