Facebook purges 95 pages and 39 accounts in the Philippines

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SOCIAL networking site Facebook on Tuesday, October 23, has shut down a total of 95 pages and 39 accounts linked to President Rodrigo Duterte and Imee Marcos, daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos for operating as a “spam network.”

According to a statement from Facebook, the said pages and accounts were “encouraging people to visit low quality websites that contain little substantive content and are full of disruptive ads.”

“These pages ranged from political to entertainment content, but all were sharing links to the same advertising click farms off Facebook,” Facebook said as reported by The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Although Facebook did not deliberately named all the pages and accounts that were taken down, it did include other Pro-Duterte pages as examples. Among those were Duterte Media, Duterte sa Pagbabago BUKAS, DDS, Duterte Phenomenon and DU30 Trending News.

Some of the pages with similar links did not directly refer or relate to the president. Among those were Hot Babes, News Media Trends, Bossing Vic, Pilipinas Daily News, Like and Win, Manang Imee and Karlo ang Probinsyano.

One of the pages that was closed down by the said social networking site even had 4.8 million followers.

“We don’t want this kind of behavior on Facebook — and we’re investing heavily in both people and technology to keep bad content off our services,” Facebook said.

Facebook said it used reports from the social media community and machine learning and artificial intelligence “to detect bad behavior and take action more quickly.”

“We’re monitoring for a range of abuses on Facebook, including spam behavior, and will remove any account or page that breaks our rules,” the Mark Zuckerberg-led company said.

‘More avenues’ aside from Facebook – Palace

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo denied the claims that the pages that were taken down reflect those that support the current administration.  

“Not necessarily,” Panelo said as he denied the allegations that the government sponsors bloggers and so-called “trolls” in order to spread false news on the popular social media platform and attack critics and those who do not favor Duterte.

Instead, the presidential spokesperson expressed his respect with regards to the decision of Facebook to shut down the pages and accounts they deemed inappropriate.

“Facebook must have its rules and regulations. If they are implementing that, then that’s their own rule,” Panelo said.

“Now, if the concern is, there will be no more avenues, there are so many avenues. We have Twitter, Instagram and many others where the advocates can express themselves in support of this administration,” he added.  

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