Solon admin threatens to stop Facebook from deleting content and banning users – Manila bulletin
Another administration lawmaker asked Facebook about censorship issues amid the social media giant’s efforts to block suspected troll farms that are blamed for the spread of fake news and disinformation in the world’s No. 1 Philippines. of social media users.
Vice President and Bagong Henerasyon Party Representative Bernadette Herrera sought a dialogue with Facebook’s national director in the Philippines as she berated the popular social media site for “unilaterally removing content that it deemed inappropriate for her. platform ”.
Herrera said that “such a practice tends to infringe the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution.”
Two weeks ago, Anakalusugan party representative Michael Defensor tabled House Resolution 2112 proposing a congressional investigation into the alleged methods of information censorship imposed by Facebook.
“Considering the enormous influence of Facebook in the moral, political and national security of our country and also in protecting the interests of private companies, there is a need to clarify its methods of censoring information,” Defensor said. in file HR 2112.
Defensor has come under fire for the move, as many social media users have backed Facebook for its serious efforts to prevent groups and individuals from using its platform to mislead and spread fake news.
“I fully agree with the need to ensure that our people are informed of the truth, especially in times of great uncertainty. However, I must respond to the people’s call when they allege that their freedom of speech has been compromised and that they are not sure of the cause, ”Herrera said in his letter to Facebook on August 31, 2021. .
The Solon Partilist claimed she had received “numerous reports from her constituents that their posts were unfairly and unceremoniously suppressed despite the fact that the information was not fake news, nor defamatory, and within guidelines from the community”.
She cautioned against the possibility of Congress passing legislation that would prevent Facebook and other social media platforms from removing content or banning users who do not violate Philippine laws.
“This is already happening in other countries like the United States, Poland and Hungary. The Philippines can also do this by passing a law prohibiting social media platforms from censoring free speech, ”Herrera said.
She was referring to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to sign a law banning social media sites from banning people from posting political posts.
A federal judge has shut down the law that would have held social media companies accountable for censoring political candidates.
Similar legislative proposals tabled in Poland and Hungary have yet to be approved.
Last year, Facebook revealed that several social media accounts belonging to two networks in China and the Philippines were deleted after finding them guilty of “coordinated inauthentic behavior or campaign manipulation.” The Filipino network has been traced to a group associated with the military that is accused of reporting people critical of the Duterte administration.
In total, 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages and 20 Instagram accounts allied to the siad network have been deleted.
The social media giant noted that the people behind the activities of the said accounts were coordinating and using fake accounts that were allegedly found to post misleading information.
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