Cebu gubernatorial race: Durano-Davide campaign Facebook page taken down

The Facebook page of Ace Durano and Hilario Davide III, who are running for governor and vice governor of Cebu respectively, was taken down recently, according to Durano’s campaign team. 

“It was gaining traction and just launched a jingle contest, which had already 20,000 views in less than eight hours, when the page was suddenly reported,” Durano’s campaign team said in a statement.

The page was created on October 7 and taken down on Wednesday, November 17. 

As of Tuesday, November 23, the content of the page is still unavailable.

A Durano campaign staff member told Rappler they were unsure of the reason for the takedown. The staff said that it had 4,000 followers and its reach was 'increasing' before the page was taken down.

The page in question was created specifically for the campaign and was separate from the individual pages of Durano and Davide. Their respective pages are still active.

"We get trolls on the page, but nothing unusual stood out before the takedown," a representative of the campaign told Rappler in a mix of Cebuano and English.

"We don't delete comments as long as they don't cross the line. Some of them are clearly trolls because we saw they are pictures of foreigners posting comments in Bisaya," they said.

They showed a screen grab, stating the reason for the takedown was reported for “graphic violence, hate speech, harassment, bullying, nudity, sexual activity and sexual exploitation.”

Durano denies his team created any posts that violated Facebook’s community standards, leading them to believe it was a coordinated attack.

“Nothing that would constitute grounds for it to be reported. So the concerted effort of those behind the mass reporting is designed so the people would not know our programs and the growing support we're getting all over the province," Durano said. 

Rappler reached out to Facebook’s representative to ask if the takedown was due to any possible community standards violation or if it was due to a coordinated attack.

A Facebook representative responded to Rappler on Tuesday, November 23, saying they would check the page of Durano and Davide and send their response later. We will update this story when we get a reply.

Durano, a former congressman and tourism secretary, is a first-time candidate for governor of Cebu province. 

He is running against popular incumbent Governor Gwendolyn Garcia. – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.

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