A party-list MP on Wednesday called on social media giant Facebook (FB) to “show greater restraint” by deactivating the accounts of those actively involved in politics for the upcoming polls on May 9.
Anakalusugan representative Mike Defensor made the appeal after the FB account of attorney Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson for presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., was temporarily suspended, then reinstated, for allegedly violating community standards.
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said Rodriguez’s account was “incorrectly flagged as an imposter account.”
Defensor said a foreign company like Facebook could be accused of “interfering” in elections, which are a sovereign exercise, in favor of a candidate.
He also said that Facebook could be accused “of suppressing free speech and imposing its own political values on others.”
Defensor speculated that Marcos’ rivals triggered the suspension of Rodriguez’s FB account.
“Groups working for opponents of Marcos Jr. have launched a barrage of bogus complaints against Rodriguez’s FB account, which has been suspended due to arbitrary action by the social media platform’s content moderators,” he said. he declared.
He said FB’s admission that Rodriguez’s account was reported in error also betrayed the vulnerability of the social media platform’s moderators to “undue influence from partisan political activity”.
“Since FB moderators aren’t even employees of the social media giant – but work for outsourced companies hired to do the work – they may be susceptible to political manipulation in one way or another. another,” he said.
“FB (Facebook)/Meta suspended my account because I’m for Bongbong
Marks. It is censorship to the highest degree and interference in a
sovereign act,” Rodriguez said.
The National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) described Facebook’s decision as a “restriction” on the right to freedom of expression.
“We condemn the deplorable act of FB/Meta in suspending the Chief of Staff and BBM Spokesperson’s Facebook account where he posts/posts official statements for media and general public use,” the President said. of the NPC, Paul Gutierrez.
He noted that the suspension of Gutierrez’s account is “completely senseless censorship, a violation of our bill of rights statement, and a gross interference in our internal affairs.”
Gutierrez said the suspension of Rodriguez’s Facebook account is just the latest in a series of “neo-fascist methods of large-scale censorship” used by American society to influence the upcoming May 9 polls.
Gutierrez said that since last week, Facebook has started reporting and blocking numerous accounts from public platforms, including those of national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon and the Philippine News Agency.