Robredo sounds alarm on China meddling on FB
What is China’s interest in our national affairs?
Vice President Leni Robredo asked this question on Sunday, as she expressed alarm over Beijing’s potential role in the recently taken down Facebook propaganda network designed to drum up support for, among other things, a possible 2022 run by the President’s daughter and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte and China’s stakes in the West Philippine Sea maritime row.
Last week, Facebook revealed that it took down two disinformation networks: one with alleged links to the Philippine military and police, and another originating from Fujian, a province on the southeastern coast of China. Both were flagged for “coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB).”
Specifically, Facebook flagged them for potentially engaging in foreign or government interference, which is CIB conducted on behalf of a foreign or government actor.
The Fujian-run network consists of some 150 pages and was mostly focused on promoting Sara Duterte’s potential candidacy in 2022.
While modest in operations and not directly linked to the Chinese government, it was still the first public disclosure of Chinese efforts to influence Philippine elections.
“Why is China meddling in our domestic affairs?” Robredo asked during her Sunday weekly radio show. “We should be terrified of the implications of this. Why are they interested in our elections? Is this … because [interfering] would protect their own interests?”
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