Poe wants probe into Facebook’s rules on taking down posts
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe wants a probe into social networking site Facebook’s guidelines, following reports that posts about a draft compromise agreement with the Marcoses was taken down.
“The posts were eventually restored, the same reports said. Prior to this, some posts of netizens also dealing with controversial issues were also reportedly removed from the platform for allegedly not complying with Facebook’s ‘community standards,’” said Poe in a statement on Friday, January 5.
Poe was referring to a post, originally by Gang Badoy Capati, about an apparent draft agreement between the government and the Marcos heirs, where some of their wealth would be returned to government.
Malacañang later clarified that it was not yet a done deal and that the draft agreement was merely submitted by lawyer Oliver Lozano.
Capati later said her post was taken down by the social media network, only to be restored.
“We need to know the clear guidelines of social media organizations in handling the activities of their users, and make sure that these neither infringe on the individual’s right to freedom of speech and expression nor allow the abuse of such freedom,” said Poe.
She said the issue would be taken up when the Senate committee on public information and mass media, which she chairs, resumes its hearing on the proliferation of fake news. Poe added a separate inquiry may be called for if necessary.
Her committee, in October 2017, began hearings on the spread of fake news in the country. Resource persons included journalists, as well as partisan bloggers who are popular on social media. (READ: Grace Poe praises Thinking Pinoy for 'excellent research, neutrality')
Poe has been criticized for treating the bloggers, who’ve been accused of spreading fake news, with kid gloves.
A deal for the Marcos heirs to return their ill-gotten wealth was floated by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier claimed that the Marcos family donated money for his campaign. (READ: 'Justice must be served': Lawmakers oppose immunity for Marcoses)
The Marcos clan is allied with Duterte and supported him during the 2016 elections.
But those close ties don’t cross over to his allies in the House. Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos is the subject of probe into the alleged misuse of her province’s funds, led by House Majority Leader and Duterte ally Rodolfo Fariñas.
Ferdinand Marcos was president for over two decades. His rule, which included years-long martial law, was marred by human rights abuses and the pilferage of public funds by Marcos and his cronies. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com