Before we start our story, you can join a group we started called Real Fake News Malaysia if you like more stories like this or if you simply want to verify any viral online content. :)

 

If you’re always updated on Facebook or in a WhatsApp group that shares almost anything and errthing, chances are you might know what this video is all about:

The video that went viral. Screengrab taken by Nina Ijan

The video that went viral. Screengrab taken by Nina Ijan

But if you’re still in the dark, then allow us to enlighten you. In this video, the boy in the blue T-shirt, who is holding an iPad, struggles to walk properly. He falls and gets back up several times as he continues to walk. According to the screengrab above, the video is accompanied with a caption that claims that the condition of the boy is caused by heavy phone usage.

However, that is NOT the case. We got in touch with the boy’s mother, Siti Norshidah and her friend, Nina Ijan, who posted a Facebook post to clarify what had actually happened, to find out more a bout this incident. Apparently…

 

The boy is actually sick… but it’s not caused by phone or any device

According to Siti, her son had woken up one day and was unable to walk properly. Siti called Nina to ask if her child had similar problems but Nina had only said that that would happen due to leg cramps or normal pain. So, Siti decided to record a video of her son and send it to Nina for her to see.

“Nina had called me after watching the video and asked me to pack my clothes and head to a hospital. For your information, Nina is the first person I turned to when it comes to my son’s condition.” – Siti Norshidah told CILISOS, translated from BM.

Siti also told us that she sent the video to her husband who wasn’t at home when that happened besides sending it to a few other relatives and close friends to ask for their opinions and prayers so that her son will get better soon. This is cos her son had some rare symptoms such as sleeping for almost 23 hours, vomiting for 5 days and a sudden abrupt in his speech.

She had also shown the video to the doctor who diagnosed and treated her son. Her son was diagnosed with acute post viral ataxia, a movement disorder caused when the area of the brain that are used for movement, sensation and speech are damaged. This normally happens among children within the age of 2 and 5 but can happen to older children too.

edited doc's diagnose nina ijan

The doctor’s diagnosis. Img from Nina Ijan

But little did she know that among those people she had shared the video with, one of them or a few of them might have sent the video to other people la. However, neither Siti nor Nina could point out who had made the video viral. 

Aside from the caption we mentioned in the intro, the video also comes with an audio of a man claiming that the boy is suffering from neuro dead (brain dead la). This is pretty misleading la considering that the boy actually has a movement disorder. According to Nina, Siti had only found out that the video went viral on WhatsApp a few days back. And a day later, the video was all over Facebook.

Nina also told us that one of the earliest post on Facebook belonged to an uncle named Rubani Ibrahim. As a matter of fact, the video had high engagement with 614,000 views! If you don’t believe us, check this screengrab below:

Screengrab from Facebook

Rubani’s Facebook post. Screengrab from Facebook

When Siti and Nina talked to Rubani, he had told them that…

“I got it (the video) from WhatsApp.” – Rubani told Siti.

… and…

“(I got the video) From a friend. My intention was to create awareness that kids shouldn’t spend too much time on their phones.” – Rubani told Nina.

We contacted Rubani on Facebook Messenger but we’re still waiting for his reply.

However, Siti had clarified that her son doesn’t even have the time to use her phone since he spends most of his day at school and daycare centre. Mmm, sounds petty, but here’s the problem…

 

Siti and her husband had to deal with a crapload of backlash… for something they didn’t do

Unlike other online post on sick people that might have gained empathy and financial support, this video received a number of backlashes. And this is probably caused by the misleading caption.

Some comments on the Facebook posts and WhatsApp were just questioning the validity of the video but some really condemned the parents.

Some nasty comments blaming the boy's parents. Img from Nina Ijan

Some nasty comments blaming the boy’s parents. Img from Nina Ijan

Nina had told us that Siti and her husband didn’t only have to deal with the nasty comments from netizens but also how the video was uploaded without the parents’ consent. Although uploading a content online might seem like an innocent action, the former Cyber Security Malaysia’s responsive service vice-president, Adli Abdul Wahid, mentioned that this action may have its own consequences.

“The issue is that most of the time people do it without getting permission. Then they upload the pictures onto the Net without realising the consequences of making the content public. Will it backfire on the individual concerned?” – Adli told The Star in 2012.

In addition, it is a question of etiquette la. Imagine a person visits you at your house, takes your food from the fridge and shares it with other people (who isn’t you) WITHOUT your permission. How would you feel? The same applies in this case la cos people shared the video of Siti’s son without asking her permission.

NAH, BACA:
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And this might not be the first time someone kena viral for the wrong reason la. Just recently, Haneesya Hanee, who was crowned as a Dewi Remaja (a local beauty pageant) was stripped off of her title cos of a video that went viral. In that video, she was allegedly seen partying in a nightclub together with other Dewi Remaja contestants. The video which was from an Instagram story for ‘closed friends’ had gone viral after someone uploaded it online.

Haneesya Hanee. Img from mStar

The winners of Dewi Remaja (l-r): Tia Sara, Haneesya Hanee and Sherin Amiri. Img from mStar

But coming back to Siti’s story, another issue with this viral video would be how hard it is to regulate the video. At the time of writing, Nina has been asking people to take down the video on Facebook. It might seem to work for awhile since most of them had taken down the video. However, the video will be uploaded on Facebook by other people the following day. And don’t get us started with messages that are sent and forwarded to WhatsApp groups. In fact, Nina informed us that the video is still widely circulated on WhatsApp at the time of writing.

This may be why…

 

The police can’t seem to do anything cos they can’t find the real culprit

After finding out that the video went viral, Siti lodged a police report while her husband emailed a report to the Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commissions (MCMC). If you receive any message containing the video of Siti’s son, you can always inform people to stop spreading the message.

“As parents, we only want people to stop posting or forwarding the video of our son. This is because, unlike the claims some people made on Facebook, I have never posted this video on Facebook or Instagram.” – Siti Norshidah told us.

And if you’re unsure whether anything forwarded to you is fake anot, you can always verify it through MCMC’s website called sebenarnya.my. We actually found out that the MCMC has launched this website in 2017 which reportedly became an online hit in the same year.

How many of y'all actually fact check before sharing a post?

How many of y’all actually fact check before sharing a post?

In this case, you can verify if the message accompanying the video of Siti’s son is valid or not through sebenarnya.my but, at the time of writing, we couldn’t find anything about this video on the website. We tried getting in touch with the MCMC to ask more about this but we’re still waiting for their reply.

But if you happen to be in a situation like Siti and her husband (choi la, hopefully ugaiz don’t kena like this), here’s what you can do:

  1. You can lodge a complaint directly to the content owner or moderator. However, if you can’t find any of them, you can use the ‘report abuse’ service provided by the website.
  2. You can lodge a complaint on http://aduan.skmm.gov.my/.
  3. You’ll be given a receipt for your reference and will receive a reply to your complaint within 15 days from the date of complaint.
  4. You can also lodge a report to other relevant authorities such as the police.

Although Siti and her husband did the steps listed above, she informed us that the police aren’t able to take any actions since they couldn’t find the culprit just yet. In addition, her husband has yet to receive a feedback from the MCMC.

But there were a few other cases where people were tricked by fake viral news – like that time when everyone thought China’s badminton player, Lin Dan actually sent a bromantic letter to Lee Chong Wei. Or when Najib was on the cover of Time magazine? Heck, most of us in the office fell for that news on a holiday on the 31st January in conjunction with the Agong’s Inauguration Day. That’s a hoax, gais! T.T We’ve actually written about viral stories that were actually fake and you can read it here.

So, that’s why we came up with an idea to create a Facebook page called the Real Fake News Malaysia to combat real fake news (not the fake fake ones ok) online. Ugaiz can post anything viral that may seem suspicious in the group and, in return, we will investigate if it’s legit or not for you. #donepromote 😉