Robredo elated with FB takedown of media company found spreading fake news

Published January 13, 2019, 6:19 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Raymund Antonio

If there was one person who was happy over Facebook’s ban on a company which was tagged as behind the websites spreading fake news online, it was Vice President Leni Robredo.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Photo by OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Vice President Leni Robredo (Photo by OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Robredo, who has been the subject of false information and unfounded rumors on social media, said it was “good news” that Facebook banned digital marketing group Twinmark Media Enterprises from the platform for violating its policies.

“Napakalaking regalo ito sa taumbayan (This is a big gift to the people),” she said on her Sunday radio program, “BISErbisyong Leni.”

The Vice President expressed appreciation that the social networking site was stepping up efforts to take down those found spreading lies and using fake accounts on its platform.

According to Facebook, it removed 220 pages, 73 accounts and 29 Instagram accounts run by Twinmark Media Enterprises, whose pages were followed by about 43 million accounts.

The online giant said that Twinnark “has repeatedly violated” their “misrepresentation and spam policies,” through actions that included “coordinated inauthentic behavior, the use of fake accounts, leading people to ad farms, and selling access to Facebook Pages to artificially increase distribution and generate profit.”

Among the pages Robredo referred to were Trending News Portal and Filipino Channel Online. These pages carried false information, including fake news against known opposition figures like her.

“[Marami pang pages] na hindi nate-take down, pero puwede na ito, at least umuusad (Many pages are not taken down, but this is enough, at least there is progress),” Robredo said.

“Sana tuloy-tuloy na gawin ito ng Facebook. Hindi naman ito para sa atin, pero ito sa buong Pilipinas—na okay lang naman mag-criticize, pero dapat iyong basehan ng kritisismo ay totoo,” she added.

(I hope Facebook would continue doing this. This is not for us, but it is for the entire Philippines-it’s okay to criticize, but the basis of the criticism should be true.)

In her radio show, Robredo took the opportunity to ask social media users to be “more mindful of things they share online” and validate the information.

“Don’t believe claims easily. It’s better to believe in those who really practice accountability, because they won’t post online without first verifying it,” she said in Filipino.