FB shuts down PH pages

Social media giant Facebook shut down at least 95 pages and 39 accounts in the Philippines for allegedly violating its spamming and authenticity policies.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Facebook said the pages and accounts that were pulled off from the platform are 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,” it added. “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 world’s largest social media network also stressed that the takedown is a small step in the right direction and they will continue working to find and remove more bad content.

Pages from the Philippines that were flagged for violation of spamming and authenticity included names like Duterte Media, Duterte sa Pagbabago BUKAS, DDS, Duterte Phenomenon, DU30 Trending News, Hot Babes, News Media Trends, Bossing Vic, Pilipinas Daily News, Like and Win, Manang Imee and Karlo ang Probinsiyano, Facebook said.
One of the removed pages had 4.8 million followers, according to Facebook.

“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, noting that it has doubled the number of people working on safety and security on the platform this year to at least 20,000.

User reports and technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence help Facebook detect “bad behavior” and “take action more quickly,” the statement said.
Reacting to the takedown, Malacañang said Duterte’s supporters can still use other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter to express their ideas, share information and promote their advocacies.
“Facebook has its own set of rules and regulations. If they’re implementing that, then that’s their own rule. As for the concern that there are no more avenues, there are many other avenues. We have Twitter, Instagram and many others where the advocates can express themselves in support of this administration,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

As part of its campaign against fake news, Facebook partnered with VERA Files and Rappler earlier this year as fact-checkers. While the government lauded Facebook’s effort at preventing fake news, the administration questioned its choice of fact-checkers.

The social media giant came under intense scrutiny earlier this year when it was revealed that data from 87 million accounts were “improperly shared” with political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica and the accounts and data harvested supposedly helped Donald Trump win US presidential elections in November 2016.

It was also revealed that the Philippines had the second largest number of Facebook users whose accounts were affected by the data breach.

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