Thursday, January 26, 2017

Antonio Contreras Claims That Rappler Has Lost 7 Million Followers Since July 2016

Antonio P. Contreras, a university professor and one of President Rodrigo Duterte's most avid defenders, claims that Rappler has lost seven (7) million followers since July 2016. Contreras made the claim today in a Facebook post. When asked by someone in the comments section of his post where he got his data, Contreras answered: "A little mynah bird told me. Haha." It's a valid question. Losing seven million followers would be a game-changer for the news site. So I'd like to throw the question yet again to Contreras: "How did you know? Who's your source?"

The figure that Contreras is throwing around is, for lack of a better word, absurd. If by "followers", Contreras meant the number of "likes" that Rappler has, his 7 million figure simply doesn't have any solid foundation. Rappler now has three (3) million followers on Facebook. If we add back the 7 million that it lost, that would mean Rappler had 10 million followers in June of 2016. That's simply not true. Rappler never even reached 5 million Facebook followers.

Now, if Contreras is referring to all of Rappler's followers from both Facebook and Twitter, his 7 million figure still remains absurd. As of today, Rappler has 2.3 million followers on Twitter. Again, Rappler never breached the 3-million mark on Twitter.

In conclusion, either Contreras is straight-up lying or his source is someone who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Another saddening fact is that Contreras has nearly 100,000 followers on Facebook, a lot of whom are treating his claim as truth without doing their own fact-checking. To me, that is very dangerous.

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