Meta, formerly Facebook, denied on Thursday, Jan. 27, that some of its top officials in its Manila office met with presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robrebo to remove or suspend the FB accounts of presidential rival Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s supporters.
“No one from Meta recently met with the Vice President or her team, or made any agreement to remove political content from our platform,” Meta said in a statement sent to the Manila Bulletin.
It added: “We do not arbitrarily censor peaceful political speech on Facebook, and we will only remove content if they violate our https://transparency.fb.com/policies/community-standards/. We have a global process for government requests to remove or restrict content. That process is the same in the Philippines as every other country around the world. We share details of our compliance with these requests in our twice-yearly https://transparency.fb.com/data/ontent-restrictions/.”
Meta released the statement in response to the claim of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan senatorial bet Larry Gadon that Robredo met with the social media giant’s local top executives to ask them to suspend or remove FB accounts belonging to supporters of rival, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“I have it confirmed that the camp of a presidential aspirant has met with officials of the social media platform Facebook Phils. to remove or suspend the FB accounts of BBM supporters with big following,” said Gadon in a press release distributed to the media.
He said it was Robredo who personally met with Meta Philippines executives Chris Kuzhuppily, public policy manager; Roy Tan, politics and government outreach manager for Asia Pacific and Kylie Mooney, government politics and advocacy partner manager.
Gadon disclosed that his information about the meeting was relayed to him in confidence by a “Facebook Phlippines insider”
A text message from an official of the Robredo camp also denied that such meeting took place.
The official added that both “external and internal” communications team in the Robredo campaign denied that there was such a meeting.