claim

  • How true is claim heart massage increases blood circulation?

    Claim: A viral WhatsApp video claims doing a few minutes heart massage and breathing exercises would increase blood circulation in two weeks.

    Verdict: This is disinformation. Experts say this massage will, at best, only provide psychological relief and does not affect blood circulation in any way.

    Full Text

    Dubawa received a WhatsApp message which included a video on June 22, 2021, claiming that doing the massage routine in the attached video is capable of curing heart blockages. The message attached to the video claimed the procedure “had saved thousands from heart blockages” and that those who had tried it confirmed it cured them from “back pain” in “just seven days”. This message and video have been shared on numerous WhatsApp groups and private chats after that date.

    Screen shot of the WhatsApp message

    Dubawa watched the video produced by Austin Goh, who led the over three minutes exercise, explaining to viewers how to do the heart massage and breathing procedures that would increase blood circulation. He also added voice overs from time to time, noting what each procedure would help viewers achieve, and promising them relief if they practised the procedure for two weeks.

    Screenshot of the conclusion of the video

    Who is Austin Goh?

    Austin Goh, a Chinese born in Malaysia, is a self-proclaimed natural therapist who says he helps “people with chronic health problems get rid of their pain”. He was a martial artist who had an injury and defied medical advice to amputate. He claimed he rehabilitated his shattered knee by himself and has been helping people overcome health issues like chronic sinusitis since January, 1984. He teaches Wing Chun Kung Fu at Austin Goh Martial Arts Academy in London and has degrees in Physical Education and English Language from England. Austin Goh has a Youtube channel with 798 thousand subscribers and 388 uploaded videos. 

    Screenshot of Austin Goh’s Youtube Page

    The Video

    Dubawa searched for the blood circulation video and found that it was posted on Youtube on February 1, 2019 and it had been watched 6,411 times with 87 likes and only 2 dislikes. 

    Screenshot of the video description on Youtube

    Many viewers or subscribers believed it and asked questions on how they could maximise the benefits of the massage for blood circulation.

    Screenshot of a viewer asking questions about the exercise

    Another viewer commends the procedure and extolled its benefits

    S

    Screenshot of a subscriber commending the exercise

    We also have skeptics who doubt the procedure and shared their thoughts on Mr. Goh’s page.

    Screenshot of a doubtful or confused viewer’s comments

    Verification

    Dubwa shared the video with two Consultant Cardiologists in Nigeria who both say there is no medical or scientific evidence to back Goh’s theory.

    Dr. Hassan Olayinka Olaiwola, a Consultant Cardiologist with Grandville Medical and Laser in Lagos State, Nigeria, says the procedure is pure fallacy and that rubbing or massaging the chest around the heart area does not affect or influence blood circulation. Dr. Olaiwola commented that “at best”, the exercise “would give the person doing it some psychological relief”.

    Dr. Sanni Saheed of Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, told Dubawa that he “watched the video to the end” and it is “pure disinformation”, arguing that “none of the actions in the video improves the cardiac function or blood flow”.

    Dr. Sanni said he knows people are eager to take care of their health and he therefore recommended walking for about 30 minutes daily, jogging, using the treadmill as scientifically backed exercises to help the heart. He says the exercises also “improve cardiopulmonary functions” which are the interrelationship between the workings of the heart and lung organs.


    Conclusion

    The internet is full of many self-professed natural health therapists who put the lives of their audiences at risk for psychological and financial gains. The claim by Austin Goh is false. Experts say this massage will, at best, only provide psychological relief and does not affect blood circulation in any way.

  • Is Dangote giving out 15,000 Naira weekly allowance to Nigerian youths as COVID-19 relief funds?

    A viral WhatsApp message claims that Aliko Dangote is giving out 15,000 Naira weekly allowance to Nigerian youths as COVID-19 relief fund.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2019-10-04-at-17.25.12.png

    The claim that Dangote is giving out 15,000 Naira weekly allowance to Nigerian youths as COVID-19 relief fund is a scam. Dangote Group confirmed it to be fake, and other inclinations point to that.

    Full Text

    COVID-19 has distorted the conventional pattern of human existence; experts are calling it the new normal. This phase, however, ushered a barrage of misinformation regarding palliatives and would-be cures. An example is this viral WhatsApp message which claims that Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, is giving out 15,000 Naira as an allowance to youths across Africa. The post appeared in many WhatsApp groups with vast shares across the platform.

    In the past, we have probed a myriad of similar claims which mostly turned out to be false. Nonetheless, for some of these falsehoods not to persist, it is necessary to provide evidence that debunk them.

    Verification 

    Dubawa’s preliminary findings led to a public statement made by the Dangote Group on its official Facebook page. The statement outrightly repudiates the claim, describing it as a malicious act aimed at defrauding members of the public. The statement reads:

    “SCAM ALERT – DANGOTE COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS!

    We have been alerted of a scam purportedly sanctioned by Aliko Dangote Foundation and claiming to pay people a weekly allowance of N20,000. This malicious act aimed at defrauding unsuspecting victims is currently being perpetuated through several channels, including WhatsApp, emails, SMS, and dedicated website.

    Please be aware that there is NO such initiative as the “Dangote Covid-19 Relief Funds.” Our support towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria is through the organised private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) in Nigeria; an initiative being led by our Group President/CE. 

    While we work towards shutting down the activities and accounts of these scammers, please be advised to contact law enforcement agencies in case you have made any contact with these scammers.

    Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is not true!

    #ScamAlert #Scam”

    Even more indicators 

    Another suspicion identified with the claim is the difference in the amount of money claimed by the post to be on offer. The message posed 15,000 Naira while the link presented 20,000 Naira. This clear contradiction should inflate scepticism. 

    Also, the site keeps shutting off and on in the space of time, as it requests unsuspecting members of the public to supply their details before accessing the said funds. This claim is reminiscent of a recent fact-check– in which we uncovered that these kinds of sites are data phishing websites that are usually riddled with installed root pop-up ads that generate traffic through fraudulent schemes. Worse still, they engage in the extraction of users’ data and financial details for nefarious purposes.

    Conclusion 

    “Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is not true!”. This claim is false, and it’s pertinent for the public to remain even more vigilant about efforts by charlatans to defraud and mislead the public. Dangote is not giving 15,000 as COVID-19 relief funds to youths.

  • None Reported Dead in PDP Imo Protest

    Facebook user claimed that protestors were killed during Imo state protest… 

    Words from the Imo State Police and the series of results provided by Google Reverse Image jointly disprove this claim. Pictures attached to the claim originate from Malawi and have nothing to do with the Imo protest.  

    Full Text

    Supreme’s court decision to replace Emeka Ihedioha with Hope Uzodima is probably not news anymore. It can be recalled that the former was the governor for over 10 months and the later held the fourth position in the Imo gubernatorial race.

    This change did not go without any objection. PDP and its loyalists march out in protest to contest the decision of the court. The protests were held in different states across the country.  Abia, Anambra, Imo, Abuja, Akwa Ibom

    A Facebook User, Kellynalson Obi had reported the protest in Imo state and according to him, it was brutal as ‘several protesters’ were killed. He posted some pictures which he captioned, “Breaking news SAD SUNDAY IN IMO STATE! SEVERAL ‘PROTESTERS’ WERE KILLED TODAY, OVER THE REMOVAL OF “GOV IHEDIOHA” THE MILITARY SHOOT THEM DEAD.” 

    The post, as at the time of this fact-check has garnered up to 478 shares. But how true are its contents? The veracity of this claim has been called to question as there are no news reports of any violence during the Imo state protest.

    Verification

    Dubawa put a call through to the Police PRO in Imo State, SP. Ikeoku Godson Orlando. He confirmed that there was no violence anywhere in Imo after acknowledging that the protest was a peaceful one. According to him, ‘there was a protest but it was absolutely peaceful.

    Hence, Dubawa resorted to performing google reverse search on the pictures attached to the claim.

    Kellynalson had published his claim with two pictures attached and Dubawa conducted a reverse search on them. 

    It happened in Malawi, not Nigeria, Imo…

    When we checked the first picture, Google brought back a number of results, one of which is this Twitter post from January 16th. The tweet talked about how the military provided security for anti-government protesters in Malawi.

    Another result, providing insight into the Malawi incident is this publication by Nyasa Times.

    Furthermore, we found another January 16th tweet on the same incident which had both pictures used by the claim’s author. Evidently, the demonstration captured in the photos is fairly recent; just not in Nigeria.

    The second picture used by Obi in his Post, after conducting a google reverse search also tells the same story as the first. Friends of Malawi Defence Force, a Facebook page posted the picture on the 17th of January, making reference to the Malawian protests; so also this Twitter user.

    CONCLUSION

    The results provided by Google Images and the testimony from the Imo police have proved this claim to be another case of disinformation. Hence, nullified the assertions of the Facebook User.  In the absence of any substantial materials to corroborate his claim dubawa considers it false. We don’t know the intention of this User but results from this fact-check suggest that the user only wanted to instil fear in the minds of the people.

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