Since May 2017, rumours about the death of former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos have again been circulating via Facebook and Twitter.
However, at the time of writing, Imelda Marcos is not dead. According to a May 14 Filipino Express report, Marcos herself dismissed the rumour, noting that she was “still alive, just old”. And, there are no credible news reports that indicate that she has since died.
The rumour gained traction after Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado’s Twitter account posted a message stating that Imelda Marcos had died. Mercado later apologised and removed the false post, claiming that her Twitter account had been hacked.
One source of the persistent death rumour is a fake story published on a dubious “news” website called “Asia News”. The story claims – falsely – that the death had been confirmed and that Marcos died of cardiac arrest.
The story does not cite any references for its claims. Information derived from the web page’s source code suggests that a version of the false story was first published on January 1st, 2016 and then modified on May 25, 2017.
It is wise to verify any death reports that come your way before you share them on social media. If a celebrity or well-known person does die, then the death will be widely reported by the mainstream media. So, searching a news aggregator such as Google News should quickly reveal if a circulating death report is true.
Note also that some fake death posts link to websites that contain malware.
An example of the death hoax post: