Diokno says Facebook can do more after purge of accounts

/ 01:00 PM April 03, 2019
Chel Diokno admits lots of work needed to break into ‘Magic 12’

Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno. PHOTO/CATHY MIRANDA

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno hailed the recent takedown of Facebook accounts, pages, and groups allegedly engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” but said that the social media giant can do more, and could have done more.

“I am happy that Facebook is finally taking steps to address this problem, sa totoo lang I feel na kulang pa nga ang ginagawa ng Facebook,” said Diokno, referring to the proliferation of fake news in the social media platform.


“They should have taken measures way back, so much time has passed,” the Otso Diretso senatorial candidate added.

Last Friday, Facebook Cybersecurity Policy head Nathaniel Gleicher said they have removed of 200 fake accounts operating under the network of communication strategist Nic Gabanuda Jr. — who spearheaded the social media campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.


READ: Facebook takes down 200 accounts linked to former Duterte social media strategist

Hours after the takedown, Facebook showed samples of pages that were removed, including pages made by supporters of Duterte, former presidential aide Bong Go, and reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara.

Facebook, however, clarified that the takedown was not based on the posts’ or the pages’ content and political affiliation, rather, it was more of a violation of existing rules against organized fake accounts.

LOOK: Facebook provides samples of pages taken down from PH

READ: Takedown of accounts not related to content – Facebook exec

According to Diokno, the administration has maximized Facebook by turning it into a propaganda machine.

“I think there is no question that this administration has weaponized the internet, in particular Facebook, and this is not just a conclusion.  There was already an Oxford study that found that Duterte camp spent $200,000 for its troll army,” he explained.


Campaigning through social media has been considered an effective way to get messages across voters.   / gsg

READ: No army of paid trolls, just 16M voters, Palace insists

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TAGS: “Otso Diretso”, Chel Diokno, Cybersecurity Policy, Facebook, fake pages, Nic Gabunada, Philippine news updates, President Rodrigo Duterte
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