PHILIPPINES. Manila. President Rodrigo Duterte is upset over the removal of 200 government-owned accounts from Facebook. The Facebook profiles that were promoting Duterte belonged to the police and military. The President on Monday also threatened to ban the app in the country.
The social media company, last week, removed the fake accounts with links to the Philippines and China for violating its policy after three years of investigation.
Facebook Deletes Military, Police, and Chinese accounts
The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) own the removed Facebook accounts. These accounts are advocacies used to red tag people as terrorists. Hence, the AFP wants these accounts restored after a discussion with a Facebook Philippines representative.
The red-tagging (false labels) of the government endangers the lives of people as the Dutere administration labels activists, critics, and other people as terrorists. Duterte’s supporters, thereafter, harass them and the police and military ultimately kill them.
President Duterte’s critics and political activists are targets both on social media and real life. They are being harassed and killed since the time the President assumed office. In July, the anti-terrorism bill was passed to become a law.
The social media platform removed a Facebook account linked to Davao’s Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio, President Duterte’s daughter, where she campaigned to garner support for the 2022 presidential election.
President Duterte Reacts To Facebook’s Harsh Step
Facebook’s move has upset President Duterte, who even questioned the purpose of Facebook in the Philippines, indicating a possible ban on the platform. “If the government cannot use it for the good of the people, we need to talk. Is there life after Facebook? I don’t know,” he added.
Facebook is a powerful tool used in President Duterte’s 2016 Presidential campaign. He won the Presidential seat with the help of his followers called Duterte Die-hard Supporters (DDS). Thus, he continues to use the same platform for his political campaigns.
Facebook Removes Policy Violators
In the past three years, Facebook investigated the abuse of its platform. They found coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB) in many accounts, which is against their policies. Thus, they removed these Facebook accounts on 23 Sep 2020.
The investigation started with China. Then they shifted their focus to Southeast Asia and the Philippines, and the United States, after which they published a report citing they have removed hundreds of Facebook accounts removed.
They removed those Facebook accounts based on behavior rather than content. The fake accounts mislead people of what they do or who they are. Hence, Facebook continues to improve and work in the same direction, going forward.