Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the removal of the pro-Du30 pages from Facebook does not speak about the profile of the President’s supporters. FB decides to take down pages supportive of the President due to alleged spam content and violation of its authenticity policies. The Filipino leader’s avid followers still have enough social media platforms to express their support outside of the number one social media platform in the Philippines, added Panelo. Duterte Media, Duterte sa Pagbabago Bukas, DDS, Duterte Phenomenon and DU30 Trending News were among the pages removed. Manang Imee, a page that endorses Du30’s ally, Gov. Imee Marcos’ senatorial bid in the 2019 elections also did not survive the purge.
YouTube video by Eagle News
[VIDEO]: Pro-Duterte pages at marami pang accounts, isinara ng Facebook dahil sa paglabag.
Just Riding On at Facebook?
All these groups back President Du30. It is not sure, however, the administrators of these pages are actual supporters of the president. They can just be profiting off from his popularity. “Manang Imee”, on the other hand, expresses support for the eldest daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. Marcos is a close political ally of Du30.
2nd Massive Removal
Facebook has removed over 100 pages and accounts in the Philippines, including several Pro-Du30 groups that it said, violated its policies on spam. This is just the second time after Maria Ressa, the founder of Rappler accuses FB of aiding Du30 in 2017. It is obvious that the intensity of these groups can drive her business into bankruptcy.
Ressa and her company are known to be the supporters of the presumptive Vice President Leni Robredo’s political party. Robredo leads the opposition slate and is anxious to replace the president, according to reports. Her ultimate dream can be jeopardized by the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos, the brother of Gov. Marcos.
It said the pages and accounts, which were mostly political or entertainment-themed, directed visitors to “low-quality websites that contain little substantive content and are full of disruptive ads”.
Online Security vs. Freedom of Speech
The US is the number one country where Cambridge Analytica had improper access to Facebook users’ data. Number two is the Philippines. This is where the corruption of more than a million Filipino data can take place. Facebook’s move is their prerogative for online security. However, they should know that Article III Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines specifies that; no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of expression.