I hate fake news, especially when it plays on the hopes and fears of more than one group of people. This visa thing with Philippine President Duterte is just one of the latest in fake news shenanigans.
I’ll point you to the websites in question and you can see for yourself. If I had the ability to do so, I’d shut those websites down permanently.
I can understand why President Duterte thinks the visa waiver program of the United States is unfair, but the travel agreements between the Philippines and the USA were signed a long time ago. A new agreement can be forged, but it takes a lot more than rhetoric to get it done. I hope Filipinos can travel to and from the United States as easily as Americans can travel to and from the Philippines someday.
This headline, “U.S. ANNOUNCES ‘NO VISA’ POLICY FOR FILIPINOS”, had Filipino heads spinning even though it should have been obvious the news was fake.
First, it’s doesn’t look like an official news site of any kind. Official news sites are usually easy to recognize.
Second, the information was easily verifiable (as being fake) when it was first published. Most of the links are now dead.
This headline, “United States wants bilateral visa policy with Asia after Duterte’s announcement”, is just plain insulting (Asia instead of the Philippines). And it’s way more insidious.
The domain name is “usatoday-tv.com”, (dead as of Jan 7, 2017), which would have some people believe it’s affiliated with USA Today, which it isn’t. Even the plain text logo, “USATODAYTV” looks a lot like USA Today’s logo. If I legally represented USA Today, I’d sue them for obvious trademark infringement.
Fake news sites are saying the United States will make changes to placate the Philippine government. Other, equally misleading “news” items (mostly on social networks) seem to show that the Philippines will start requiring Americans to have visas to enter the Philippines.
This is something that has to be worked out between the United States Department of State and the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs. It’s not something that will change in a mere matter of days.
By: RT Cunningham
October 24, 2016
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