social media influencers

Blogger Sass Sasot’s Facebook page temporarily disappears, returns days later

Gaby Baizas

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Blogger Sass Sasot’s Facebook page temporarily disappears, returns days later
While Sasot has a history of spreading attacks and disinformation, it is currently unclear why the pro-Duterte blogger’s Facebook page became unavailable

MANILA, Philippines – The Facebook page of blogger Sass Sasot, a vocal supporter of former president Rodrigo Duterte, temporarily disappeared from the platform but was restored days later in January 2024.

On Facebook, Sasot posts hyperpartisan political commentary under the page “For the Motherland – Sass Rogando Sasot.”

As of writing, the URL facebook.com/forthemotherlandofficial reads, “This content isn’t available right now.” This message appears if privacy settings prevent a certain user from accessing the content, or if the content has been deleted.

Other pro-Duterte bloggers announced that Sasot was no longer on Facebook as early as January 2. Banat By, whose real name is Byron Cristobal, shared on Tuesday that Sasot’s Facebook page disappeared from the platform, after his own Facebook page became unavailable on December 31.

‘MARTIAL LAW NA DITO SA FB.’ Pro-Duterte blogger Banat By, whose real name is Byron Cristobal, announces that Sass Sasot’s Facebook page has disappeared. Rappler screenshot

Pro-administration blogger Krizette Laureta Chu said that apart from Sasot’s Facebook page, her personal account also became unavailable on the platform. The URL facebook.com/sassrogandosasot also displays the same error message about its content being unavailable.

DELETED? Pro-administration blogger Krizette Laureta Chu shares that Sass Sasot’s Facebook account has become unavailable. Rappler screenshots

In a video with vlogger Maharlika livestreamed on Tuesday, Sasot said that she received an email from Facebook’s parent company Meta, which said that her account had been flagged and suspended. This prohibited her from also accessing her page and Messenger.

Meta said that Sasot had 180 days to appeal the decision. She explained in Maharlika’s live video that she had already submitted an appeal to the tech company.

It is currently unclear why Sasot’s page became temporarily unavailable on the platform. She also claimed that prior to her Facebook page and account becoming inaccessible, Sasot did not receive any warnings from Meta about possible platform violations.

As of Thursday, January 4, Sasot’s Facebook page was restored, and is accessible under the new URL facebook.com/forthemotherland. However, Sasot also confirmed on Thursday that her personal account is still inaccessible.

Latest records from social media analytics site Social Blade showed that Sasot’s Facebook page had amassed over 807,000 likes before becoming unavailable. Social Blade did not record any Facebook statistics for Sasot’s page on January 2, when her Facebook page disappeared from the platform.

Sasot is a pro-Duterte blogger who has spread disinformation and attacked those critical of the former president in the past. A Rappler investigation also found that Sasot is among the most prominent actors spreading pro-China propaganda online in the Philippines.

Rappler has reached out to Meta to comment on the matter, but has yet to receive a response. – Rappler.com

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Gaby Baizas

Gaby Baizas is a digital forensics researcher at Rappler. She first joined Rappler straight out of college as a digital communications specialist. She hopes people learn to read past headlines the same way she hopes punk never dies.