MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A popular Facebook page known for being critical of President Duterte and some of his supporters was taken down on December 24.
The page in question is “Madam Claudia,” which at the time of being taken down had more than 40,000 followers. The page is known for espousing critical views on the President, the fanatical devotion of some of his followers, and staunch Duterte supporters like Mocha Uson Blog and Mr. Riyoh.
The page’s stance had elicited a negative reaction among some of the pro-Duterte crowd, which culminated in the page’s take-down on Saturday, December 24.
One of the last few posts of the page was of a supposed “tanim shabu” modus. The modus, according to the post, is done by some police to beef up the administration’s drug war achievements. Three hours after the post was put up, the Madam Claudia page had been taken down, say its administrators.
Since the take-down, Madam Claudia has started a new page that currently has more than 8,000 followers. The first attempt to create a new one failed after it was again taken down by Facebook in just a few hours. The incident demonstrates that Facebook’s reporting tool can be used to silence voices that other groups believe are contradictory to theirs.
The “Superficial Gazette of the Philippines,” a Facebook page espousing a stance similar to Madam Claudia’s, posted the following screenshot to show that the pro-Duterte crowd had been behind the take-down:
A search on Facebook for the term “Madam Claudia” also revealed a number of individuals showing that they reported the page:
As we’ve reported before, the pro-Duterte group, Duterte Cyber Warriors (DCW), has also admitted that they resort to ‘extrajudicial reporting’ select accounts as a way for their community to vent their frustrations. There is currently no direct proof imputing the DCW’s involvement in the current incident. However, they do have an announcement on their page calling for supporters to report Facebook pages spreading lies. The post went, “I-report nyo na sa amin yang mga nagkakalat ng kasinungalingan na mga fb page.”
Along with that, there have been multiple attempts to take down the Madam Claudia page in the past. One of those attempts calling for mass action can be seen in the screenshot below, taken from a DCW Facebook group:
The online skirmishes among the pro- and anti-Duterte groups have also brought about similar takedowns of comments, posts, or pages on both sides, including the temporary deletion of content from journalists Ed Lingao, Nonoy Espina, and Inday Espina-Varona, as well as the deletion of comments from Sass Rogando Sasot, a noted writer among pro-Duterte circles. – Rappler.com