Facebook suspends account of Duterte critic Mae Paner
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Another Facebook account critical of President Rodrigo Duterte was suspended again.
Known to be a vocal critic of the President, activist-comedian Mae Paner, who goes by the name Juana Change, posted on Twitter Monday, May 28, that her account was deactivated by Facebook.
Paner told Rappler that she was unable to access her account at around 4 am when she tried logging in.
But as early as 1 am, her colleague Noemi Dado already tweeted about the deactivation of her account.
A prompt popped up to Paner's screen saying: “It looks like the name on your Facebook account may not be the same you use in everyday life.”
The social media platform then asked Paner to submit a proof of identification. She submitted her Movie And Television Review And Classification Board (MTRCB) ID to no avail.
According to Paner, she had been using the name “Mae Juana Change Paner” on Facebook for a year and it is only now that Facebook noticed it.
On Tuesday, May 29, Paner’s account was reactivated by Facebook. She posted the update on Twitter saying, “Mae P. Paner (Juana Change) is back!”
Paner also thanked everyone who helped her in reactivating her account.
Mae P. Paner (Juana Change) is back! Salamat sa lahat ng tumulong na maibalik ang acct. ko. #BabaeAko— Juana Change (@juanachange) May 29, 2018
Paner is among those women activists who launched the #BabaeAko (I am Woman) social media campaign, that aims to fight the President’s sexist and misogynistic behavior.
Paner suspects that her posts about the #BabaeAko campaign was the reason why her account was deactivated and that her account was mass reported by President Duterte's online supporters.
According to Paner, her posts relating to the campaign have been the target of bashers.
“Since we launched the #BabaeAko campaign, I have been including ‘puki’ [vagina] in my posts and what’s wrong with that?,” added Paner.
Paner told Rappler that she usually doesn't engage with bashers. It was only today that she responded to a Tweet that called her ‘bakulaw' (gorilla).
Ang puso mo. You give power to people who make you negative Bryan.https://t.co/fW0hkIrdXk— Juana Change (@juanachange) May 27, 2018
‘Stop silencing critics’
On a Facebook post, Arts and Media Alliance Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI) slammed Facebook's move to suspend Paner’s account.
“We demand that Facebook immediately and unconditionally restore Mae’s account,” said veteran journalist and LODI convenor Inday Espina Varona in a statement.
Varona added that Facebook should stop silencing President Duterte’s critics.
“This is not the first time Facebook has taken down accounts of activists and politically-involved Filipinos, and Facebook Pages maintained by activist organizations and campaigns. Facebook has also been censoring content, as we saw in the taking down of posts critical of the Marcoses,” added Varona.
Blogger and newspaper columnist Tonyo Cruz, who is also a convenor of LODI, denounced the implementation of the social media giant’s Real Name Policy.
According to Cruz, the application of the policy on Paner could not have been a result of due diligence or even the most basic investigations.
Read the full statement of LODI here:
This isn't the first time that Facebook has suspended accounts of people who are vocal about their political views.
In 2016, Inday Espina-Varona's account was suspended when she spoke about online abuse. Another account was taken down in the same year due to an anti-Duterte post. Facebook also suspended a petitioner's account when he initiated a campaign to take down Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson's Facebook page. Journalist Ed Lingao was told he violated Facebook's community standards as well and had his account suspended when he had an anti-Marcos post. – Rappler.com