MANILA, Philippines – On Sunday, June 7, various student groups flagged the existence of blank and duplicate Facebook accounts bearing usernames of several University of the Philippines (UP) students and alumni.
This was first reported by campus Tugani, the official student publication in UP Cebu. Initially, they noticed duplicate accounts of the activists arrested during an anti-terrorism bill protest on Friday, June 5.
Eventually, other student organizations flagged that it is not only limited to Cebu. Students and even alumni of different UP campuses also discovered and reported duplicate accounts bearing their own names.
Following protests in UP campuses and threats to our students, there are now multiple reports of empty, duplicate, and…Posted by UP Office of the Student Regent on Saturday, June 6, 2020
“We express our utmost alarm since these accounts are suspected to cause harm or spread false information. It would be best if we all stay informed and vigilant,” UP Office of the Student Regent said on Facebook.
The student regent also cautioned social media users to “exercise restraint against reporting possible real-life accounts of people having the same name as ours.”
How to report fake accounts
In the Philippines, fake accounts have been used to either amplify a message, drown out a contrary or conflicting message, or create a false sense of the popularity of an idea or cause through amplification and spread.
Facebook says accounts pretending to be someone you know or someone that doesn’t exist can be reported. Here are the steps:
- Go to the profile of the fake account.
- If you can’t find it, try searching for the name used on the profile or asking your friends if they can send you a link to it.
In the past, Facebook has taken down several networks of pages and accounts which they have proven to violate their policies misrepresentation and spam policies. – Rappler.com