MULTI-BILLION social media app Facebook moved in the erasing multiple spurious accounts that support China’s claim in the South China Sea and spew propaganda in favor of the Duterte administration.
Around 155 accounts on Facebook and six account on Instagram were erased. Facebook said that many of those account were created and managed in the Philippines.
Aside from sharing content in support of China’s claim in the South China Sea, the said accounts were also said sharing contents for President Rodrigo Duterte and pushing for the presidential candidacy of her daughter, Davao Mayor Sarah Duterte.
The US accounts meanwhile had fewer followers but it posted contents regarding the coming November 3 American election. Though noted as somewhat spurious, Facebook said that these accounts seemed only aimed to build an audience and not as a black propaganda tool.
Facebook cybersecurity policy chief Nathaniel Gleicher said that the takedown was the company’s first of Chinese-based accounts on foreign-interference grounds with any engagement in US politics.
The social media official also said that the network of accounts, pages and groups used virtual private networks and other tools to make it appear they were operated from somewhere other than China.
The American pages has only at least 3,000 followers each while those accounts tracked in the Philippines has more than 100,000 followers.
The Philippine accounts also criticized Rappler, an independent media group that is facing various cases filed by the Filipino government.