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Facebook Accused In Philippines Of Censoring Pro-Government Content


09/29/2020


Facebook Accused In Philippines Of Censoring Pro-Government Content
Facebook has run into trouble in the Philippines.
 
The United States based social media company has been accused of censoring all pro-government content by the government which effectively amounted to curtailment of freedom of speech according to the government.
 
It also called for implementing new measures to regulate the social media platform so that a level playing field could be created.
 
Establishing a powerful support base on social media platforms like Facebook has helped to bolster the strength of Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Southeast Asian country. In fact social media support was instrumental in him winning the election in 2016.
 
But a network of accounts that originated from China and the Philippines was dismantled last week by Facebook over what the social media claimed was for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” which included one which, according to Manila, was on that supported its anti-communism stance.
 
Duterte was reportedly angered by the action of Facebook as he warned the social media company on Monday night that it should explain what its purpose is in his country if it wants to continue to operate.
 
Facebook would not b shut down by Duterte, said presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, and added that the president only wants to know and understand how the social media platform regulates content in the Philippines. 56 per cent of the 107 million citizens of the Philippines are users of Facebook.
 
In the Philippines, social media platforms like Facebook have become political battlegrounds. However allegations that the supports of Duterte and his administration have tactically allowed the abuse and manipulation of social media platforms for attacking, harassing or discrediting opponents have also been denied by the country’s government.
 
The partnership that Facebook has with partnership the local fact-checkers Rappler and Vera Files, which were online news organizations, has also been questioned by Roque. He claimed that these organizations were critical of the Duterte government.
 
“We need new policies to level the playing field on Facebook,” Roque said and added that a call for regulation of online content has been given by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself.
 
No comments on the issue as available from Facebook, Rappler and Vera Files.
 
In many parts of the world in recent years, Facebook has been criticized for its lack of pro-activeness to prevent fake news reports, backed disinformation campaigns and violent content being proliferated on the platform. This has led to calls for implementing ne regulations to monitor social media across the world.
 
The company would prioritize “trustworthy” news in its feed by identifying high-quality outlets, Zuckerberg had said following such criticism.
 
(Source:www.news18.com)