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9月30日のまにら新聞から

Duterte hits Facebook, saying it can't prevent espousing gov't objectives after shutting down pro-administration accounts

[ 673 words|2020.9.30|英字 (English) ]

President Rodrigo Duterte has slammed Facebook for preventing the government to espouse its objectives after the social media giant shutdown several fake accounts, which were pro-administration and could be traced to police and military units in the Philippines.

Duterte said there is a need for him and the Facebook management to talk.

"Facebook, listen to me. We allow you to operate here hoping that you could help us also. Now, if government cannot espouse or advocate something which is for the good of the people, then what is your purpose here in my country?" he said in a taped televised message on Monday night.

He wondered why Facebook, on the other hand, did not shut down the accounts or pages of the leftist groups, such as the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army.

"You know, Facebook, insurgency is about overturning government. What would be the point --- I said before, in my eyes --- what would be the point of allowing you to continue if you cannot help us? We are not advocating mass destruction, we are not advocating mass massacre. It’s a fight of ideas. And apparently from the drift of your statement or your position is that it cannot be used as a platform for any… It is so convoluted. I cannot understand it," he said.

"If government cannot use if for the good of the people, then we have to talk. We have to talk sense...I do not know what I will do, but we have to talk," Duterte stressed.

He said Facebook could not lay down a policy for his administration.

"If we cannot understand each other, let's talk again. Is there life after Facebook? I do not know. But we have to talk...we may or we may not find the solution. If we cannot, then I'm sorry," Duterte said.

Asked if the Filipinos should be concerned of a possible Facebook ban in the country following Duterte's statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press briefing on Tuesday, said, " Maybe not because what the President has said is they need to talk."

He acknowledged that Filipinos are number one users of Facebook and banning the social media site in the country is not good for both the citizens and the company.

Roque said Duterte was just pushing for freedom of speech and free market of ideas.

Of the pages that Faceboook has shut down, Roque said Duterte was "most sensitive" on the "Hands off Our Children," which criticizes the NPA for their "notorious recruitment of children which is an international crime."

The Armed Forces of the Philippines had asked Facebook if it could restore this page.

According to Facebook, it removed over 100 fake accounts in the Philippines for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior."

Aside from those which have links to Philippine military and police, the social media giant also stopped accounts, which were traced to a group of individuals in China's Fujian province. Their posts focused on issues about the West Philippine Sea and China's interests and support to Duterte and the possible presidential bid of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in the 2022 polls.

Facebook has said that they investigated on some accounts, which appeared to be managed by military and police units, following the concerns raised by civil society groups in the Philippines and online media site Rappler.

Roque said the Duterte administration believes in freedom of speech.

"They (Facebook) may use as justification inauthentic behavior but the effect is censorship because the content of that page has been erased," he said.

Roque urged those managing the shut down of Facebook pages to bring the case in court "because the entire planet is waiting for jurisprudence in this regard" since this issue is not only present in the Philippines but in other countries as well.

He also hit Facebook for choosing Rappler and Vera Files as fact-checkers, noting that the two media groups are anti-Duterte.

Roque said the government could not allow that the only fact-checkers are those against the government. Celerina Monte/DMS