Trump inaugural photo used to fake Hugpong rally crowd

Written by
University of the Philippines Journalism Department
Last modified
Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 14:20
Screenshot of fake Hugpong rally


A viral altered photo falsely claimed “billions” of Filipinos attended a Hugpong ng Pagbabago rally.

The fake photo altered a Feb. 13 Philippine Star photo of the administration Senate slate in a Pampanga campaign sortie, manipulating its background using a 2017 Getty Images photo of a crowd on the National Mall in Washington D.C. attending U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Facebook page Federal Philippines posted the fake photo March 27 with the caption, itself also false:

Ito ang hindi pinapakita sa media. Bilyon bilyong Pilipino ang dumagsa sa Hugpong ng Pagbabago rally (This is what’s not shown in the media. Billions of Filipinos swamped Hugpong ng Pagbabago rally).

The 2015 census counted 101 million Filipinos; the number is expected to increase to 109 million by end-2019.

The crowd on the National Mall during Trump’s inauguration was smaller than the estimated 460,000 people at the same place during Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

The fake photo has since been deleted, but not before gaining traction on social media.

Social media analytics tool Crowdtangle tracked the photo performing 48 times better than the average of previous 100 Federal Philippines posts. The photo had generated 150 comments and been shared 393 times when it was still up.

Federal Philippines has more than 177,000 followers.

Rappler had earlier debunked a misleading photo making a similar claim about Hugpong ng Pagbabago rally attendance.


Frostenson, S. (2017, January 24). A crowd scientist says Trump’s inauguration attendance was pretty average. Retrieved from

Getty Images. (2017, January 20). Donald Trump Is Sworn In As 45th President Of The United States [Photo]. Retrieved from

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2016, May 19). Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population. Retrieved from

Relativo, J. (2019, February 13). 13? Sara Duterte ipinaliwanag ba't sobra ang HNP senatorial slate. Retrieved from

Robertson, L. and Farley, R. (2017, January 23). The facts on crowd size. Retrieved from

United Nations Population Fund. (n.d.). About UNFPA in the Philippines. Retrieved from

Wallace, T. et al. (2017, January 20).  Trump’s inauguration vs. Obama’s: Comparing the crowds. Retrieved from



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