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Post recycles meme, falsely claims child has coronavirus


Multiple Facebook groups have been circulating a meme of a young girl appealing to people to like her photo and pray for her, accompanied by a status update that falsely claims she has the coronavirus.


The meme is old and has been altered and revived several times.


Earlier pre-COVID-19 versions of the image show the bald child in pink with a nasal oxygen tube holding a sheet of paper with the words “It’s my last day of chemo” written on it, a reference to the drug treatment for cancer.


The text on the image has been altered to “It’s my birthday today Can u help me please?” in a later version.


The edition that went viral in the Philippines when 122 Facebook groups with 26.5 million followers in all shared it on May 1 and 2 reads:

NOBODY WANTS TO PRAY FOR ME :( PLEASE LIKE MY PHOTO AND PRAY

More than 87,000 interactions, including 4,729 shares, were recorded by the social media monitoring tool Crowdtangle from these groups alone.


The original post was by Punom Sarkar, a self-described “religious account,” which wrote in its May 1 status update:

Please Just give me a minute of your time, help share in 4 groups let's make a prayer chain, It has no cost just share thanks. I don’t mean to disturb. Just help share so my baby can get more prayers.
3 YEARs OLD GIRL' NEED CHAIN PRAYER 🙏🙏😢😭 He have Coronavirus.

The post itself has gathered 3,600 likes, 867 comments and 9,400 shares.


A scan of Punom Sarkar’s entries shows it has been publishing prayer chains accompanied by touching images like the young girl’s.


A number of prayer chains and similar social media messages are a form of like-farming or like-harvesting: They lure users to engage with posts to make a site or domain more popular.


A reverse image search shows the “It’s my last day of chemo” image was so popular on Reddit last year it ranked No. 26 on the social sharing website on Sept. 1, 2019 and made it to Trending.com’s Top 100 list.


The meme’s accompanying text reads, “It's great to see so many others taking chemo for her last time, now that she's able to live a healthy life again, it's a joy.”


The meme can be found in several online collections of popular memes, one of them complete with an embed code and a caption that says, “This pic , (sic) just made my day!!”


Besides Facebook, the meme now popular in the Philippines has previously been posted on VK, the Russian counterpart of Facebook, a search on Yandex shows.


References


Dr Asky. (2020, April 25). happy birthday little angel #may god heal you soon [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/DrHarry12/photos/a.564193983946230/1096236827408607/?type=3&theater

Meme. (n.d.). This pic, just made my day!! Retrieved from https://me.me/i/its-my-last-day-of-chemo-this-pic-just-8445f3b477d049d5a0537991204881fd


Nikil_k. (2019, Dec. 8). This pic, just made my day!! Reddit. Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/MadeMeSmile/comments/e7lsvg/this_pic_just_made_my_day/

Punom Sarkar. (2020, May 1). Please Just give me a minute of your time, help share in 4 groups let's make a prayer chain, It has no cost just share thanks. I don’t mean to disturb. Just help share so my baby can get more prayers. 3 YEARs OLD GIRL' NEED CHAIN PRAYER 🙏🙏😢😭 He have Coronavirus [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=220765415886867&set=a.102676061029137&type=3&theater


Trending.com. (2019, Sept. 1). It's great to see so many others taking chemo for her last time, now that she's able to live a healthy life again, it's a joy. Retrieved from https://trending.com/posts/2019-09-01/it-s-great-to-see-so-many-others-taking-chemo-for-her-last-time-now-that-she-s-able-to-live-a-healthy-life-again-it-s-a-joy



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