Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Philippine military to review troop accounts following Facebook purge



Philippine military to review troop accounts following Facebook purge

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Philippine network involved 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages and 20 Instagram profiles. AFP

Philippine military to review troop accounts following Facebook purge

The Philippine military said on Wednesday it will review the social media accounts of service members after Facebook took down a network linked to State security forces it accused of “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”.

Facebook said it had removed two networks – one traced to the Philippines and another to China’s Fujian province – for violating its policies.

The Philippine network involved 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages and 20 Instagram profiles, according to Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at the social media giant.

He said in a blog post: “Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to Philippine military and Philippine police.”

Activities focused on local politics, military operations, a controversial anti-terrorism bill and criticism of communist insurgents.

At least 300 activists who were tagged as communist sympathisers have been killed since Duterte became president in 2016, in what civil rights advocates have slammed as a campaign to shut down dissent and criticism of Duterte’s bloody drug war and human rights record.

Even the international humanitarian organisation Oxfam had been identified as a suspected financier of communist groups.

Philippine military chief Lieutenant-General Gilbert Gapay on Wednesday urged troops to comply with Facebook guidelines.

“The [armed forces of the Philippines] does not tolerate the uploading of fake news and fictitious social media accounts,” he said ahead of a meeting later on Wednesday with Facebook officials in Manila.

“This development also prompted us to review personnel accounts and remind them of our policies.”

Philippine police chief Camilo Cascolan said official-force Facebook pages “remain compliant”.

The force adheres to “cyber etiquette and proper decorum in all public engagements including social media”, he said.

The Fujian network also sought to push Duterte-Carpio to run for president in 2022.

Duterte-Carpio led a political coalition that nearly swept the Senate race two years ago.

That was seen as a dry run for her bid to succeed her father, although political parties under her coalition have been pushing for their candidates.

But her father’s endorsement would likely compel these parties to rally around Duterte-Carpio against her possible main rival, Vice-President Leni Robredo, who heads the opposition.

Tuesday’s action by Facebook was the third takedown of suspicious Philippine accounts since 2018 when it stepped up an offensive against misinformation.

In January last year, it removed hundreds of pages with 43 million followers linked to a local digital marketing group.

Facebook said the campaign out of China it took down focused on the Philippines and South East Asia, but also took aim at the US presidential race.

Posts commented particularly on naval activity in the South China Sea, including US vessels.

AFP, THE STRAITS TIMES (SINGAPORE)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be