Facebook recently removed over 100 fake accounts and pages which were shown to be supportive of President Duterte and the potential 2022 presidential bid of his daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
According to Facebook’s cybersecurity policy head Nathaniel Gleicher, two clusters of networks were identified; one based in Fujian province of China, the proponents of which were not yet discovered; the other was connected to the law enforcement sector, namely the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
Both arms have categorically denied association or ownership of these accounts.
The social media giant reported that they had taken down 155 accounts, 11 pages, nine groups and six Instagram accounts. These also contained criticism of online news outlet Rappler and matters pertaining to overseas Filipino workers (OFW), most of whom are apparently supportive of Duterte.
Gleicher added that these accounts exhibited “coordinated inauthentic behavior”, which was in violation of their community standards. They showed posts regarding global news, the West Philippine Sea issue and United States Navy operations.
The news was written in three languages: Chinese, Filipino and English.
“It’s worth noting, as often when we conduct one of these takedowns, we’ve shared information about this without our industry colleagues and with researchers,” Gleicher said.
He noted also that these accounts engaged in “foreign or government interference, which is coordinated inauthentic behavior conducted on behalf of a foreign or government actor.”