DILG acknowledges restoration of Facebook posts

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) welcomed on Thursday, April 28, the restoration of some content that government agencies posted on Facebook after complaints were filed by different entities, including the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“While Meta (Facebook parent) has since restored the posts, serious questions remain on the social networking site’s impartiality and integrity in exercising censorship and fact-checking in its widely-used platform,’’ DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

Given how critical and influential social media is in the country, Malaya said that it is incumbent for Facebook to do better in promoting transparency, especially in determining what constitutes a violation of its community standards.

The DILG and NTF-ELCAC spokesperson maintained that it is imperative that “they (Facebook) disclose a comprehensive brief on what metric is used in the algorithm that triggers automated blocking, warning or flagging.

“For example, what is the nature of the “technical irregularity” that supposedly allegedly triggered the blocking of accounts and posts? It is highly suspect that there was human intervention in this matter, unless the ‘technical irregularity’ is satisfactorily explained,’’ he added.

However, Malaya noted that questions remain on what safeguards Facebook has implemented to prevent its technology from being used for reprehensible purposes and what resources they have allocated to its Philippine operations to promote safety in its platform.

“The public also deserves to know who and what is done by these “independent” fact checkers and how they influence the algorithms that control the system,’’ Malaya said. (Chito A. Chavez)