DOJ orders probe on spike of fake Facebook accounts
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Sunday said it will investigate the sudden spike of fake Facebook accounts that have been popping up on the social media website.
In a message to reporters, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he will immediately direct the DOJ’s Office of Cybercrime to coordinate with the cybercrime units of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate the matter.
“This gives me cause for worry. We don’t need false information at a time when we’re dealing with a serious public health crisis,” Guevarra said.
“I will immediately direct the DOJ Office of Cybercrime to coordinate with the NBI and PNP cybercrime units to promptly investigate the apparent proliferation of fake or dummy accounts on Facebook,” he added.
This comes as some universities, such as University of the Philippines (UP), De La Salle University and the Philippine Normal University, reported having received information that the Facebook accounts of their students and faculty have been duplicated.
PUBLIC ADVISORY: UP has received reports that fake or dummy Facebook accounts have been created for UP students and alumni. We urge the members of the UP community to check their names and accounts and to make the proper report to the Data Protection Officer of Facebook. pic.twitter.com/TLIeLkwX2P
— University of the Philippines (@upsystem) June 7, 2020
“We urge the members of the UP community to check their names and accounts and to make the proper report to the Data Protection Officer of Facebook to check their names and accounts and to make the proper report to the Data Protection Officer of Facebook,” a tweet from the official UP page read regarding the proliferation of dummy accounts.
The UP Office the Student Regent, in its Facebook page, said reports of dummy accounts came after protests erupted in UP campuses due to strong opposition to the controversial Anti-Terror Bill being passed by Congress.
In one rally held at UP Cebu, eight people—three students, four members of progressive groups and a bystander—were arrested. Different cause-oriented groups then raised P300,000 to post bail for the eight individuals.
The Anti-Terror Bill, which was has been certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte, is now up for the Chief Executive’s signature.
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