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MANILA, Philippines – The Facebook page of SMNI News, the media arm of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s megachurch The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, has become unavailable.
As of Friday morning, September 15, the URL facebook.com/SMNINews says, “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.
Before it became inaccessible, SMNI News had around 2.3 million followers and 960,000 likes on Facebook earlier in September.
This comes after Quiboloy’s Facebook was removed from the platform in August this year. Meta later confirmed that his Facebook page was deleted in line with the company’s Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy, as Quiboloy is currently facing US Executive Order (EO) 13818 sanctions for “serious human rights abuse.”
The EO authorizes the US government to sanction “a broader range” of persons associated with serious human rights abuse, including persons who provide “technological support” towards sanctioned individuals.
In July, TikTok followed suit and removed Quiboloy’s account. A few days after the TikTok takedown, YouTube also terminated channels for SMNI News, the SMNI program Laban Kasama Ang Bayan, and Quiboloy’s Kingdom of Jesus Christ on the platform in compliance with “applicable US sanctions laws.”
It is currently unclear whether the SMNI News page was also deleted by Facebook. Rappler reached out to Facebook’s parent firm Meta to comment on the matter, but the tech company has yet to respond.
In the meantime, the Quiboloy-owned network has since transferred to another Facebook page entitled SMNI Public Affairs. On Monday, September 11, SMNI host and ex-NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy promoted it as “the backup page of SMNI”. SMNI Public Affairs also called itself the network’s “current official page” in a post asking followers to report an impostor account.
SMNI News and its hosts have a history of spreading propaganda and disinformation as well as attacking and red-tagging government critics. Most recently, broadcast journalist Atom Araullo filed a P2 million damage suit against SMNI hosts Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz, who repeatedly red-tagged Araullo as well as his mother on the program Laban Kasama ang Bayan. – Rappler.com