In a desperate move to reverse the inexorable race of Ferdinand (“Bongbong”) Marcos, Jr. to win the presidency, the camp of Leonora Robredo, second in the polls (third in some surveys), tries to launch in February a campaign for crack down on anti-Robredo and pro-Marcos posts on social media, primarily on Facebook and Twitter, the country’s two most popular platforms.
It was Senate candidate Larry Gadon who revealed last week on his Viber account: “Leni Robredo personally met with Chris Kuzhuppily, public policy manager for Facebook in the Philippines; Roy Tan, policy and outreach manager for the Government for Asia Pacific; and Kylie Mooney, Government, Policy and Advocacy Partners Manager, regarding the avalanche of support from millions of FB users behind Bongbong Marcos.”
Gadon quoted a source in Robredo’s camp: “They plan to suspend massive BBM fan accounts a week before the start of the campaign period. An intermediary helping Leni’s team reach FB is closely linked to the States -United.”
These reports dovetail with a strategic document by Robredo titled “Il Figlio”, which claimed that “his weak images have been solidified by what they see on social media“. The newspaper therefore claimed that “the battle is being fought in social media – the main sources of awareness and what shapes their perception of different personalities come through social media”. Indeed, social media has widely publicized Robredo’s gaffes in recent weeks and even his hilarious ads, even though those had already been taken down.
Removal of the press, by Facebook.
Twitter’s decision last week to suspend more than 300 allegedly pro-Marcos accounts, which were removed on Jan. 28 “for violating our platform manipulation and spam policy,” is an indication of Twitter’s aggressive strategy. Robredo on social media. Twitter said it “reviewed the accounts and hashtags identified in a recent post by Philippine news site Rappler.” The article had only been published eight days earlier: Twitter would have simply believed Rappler’s accusations.
I tend to believe the report on Camp Robredo’s plan to attack social media and rid it of pro-Marcos and anti-Robredo messages. Facebook Philippines public policy manager Clare Amador served as chief of staff to budget secretary Florencio Abad, with the rank of undersecretary, for six years, from June 2010 to June 2016. She was reportedly the Abad’s most trusted aide, the late president. Aquino 3rd brain trust. It was Amador, I was told, who arranged the meeting between Robredo and the other three Facebook executives in the Philippines.
My own sources confirmed Gadon’s report. A source also pointed out that “Facebook’s” alleged denial of Gadon’s allegation – reported only in pro-Robredo newspapers The Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer – was false, done so carelessly it was hilarious. Articles from both newspapers reported, “No one from Meta has recently met with the VP or her team or reached an agreement to remove political content.”
Both newspapers claimed the denial was made by an “anonymous Meta spokesperson in an email.” This is absurd: the editors know that a “spokesperson” can only be a spokesperson if he identifies himself and speaks on behalf of an entity. Nowhere in the world is there an “anonymous spokesperson”.
From ‘Il Figlio.’
The two newspapers also failed to release the alleged “spokesman’s” email address to other media men to verify his and the email’s authenticity, or a contact number to verify it. Even Communist Party fronts, such as the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, regularly include in their press releases a contact number to verify the authenticity of the statement and for the media to clarify anything that needs to be clarified at reading these.
But “Meta”, the seventh most valuable company in the world with a capitalization of $840 billion, cannot even recruit someone willing to be identified as its spokesperson.
Why didn’t Clare Amador and the three other Facebook operations managers in the Philippines deny the information? Because they couldn’t, because it was true.
The Philippine Star Report was authored by a Xave Gregorio, whose pace is the Office of the Vice President. This guy, the Inquirer reporter who signed a similar story and the editor who allowed their stories to be published, should be fired for being so stupid.
Another red light flashing that the denial is false is that nowhere in the statement is there a reference to Meta Platforms Inc., its official name which the company allegedly used in an official statement. Instead, the fake press release only refers to “Meta”. Meta Platforms has become the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, among other technology companies.
So far, however, this has not changed the organizational structures of these subsidiaries. Which means that an issue with Facebook would have been publicly addressed by Facebook and not by Meta, although information about the company and all of its genuine press releases are posted on about.fb/com. https://about.fb.com. Those Pinklawans, or Finks, still think we Filipinos are stupid, right?
I myself sensed something was up when, after 11 years of having a Facebook account, I was “restricted” for a period of time – i.e. not allowed to post anything that is, not even to comment on Facebook – at the end of November and more recently the week. After more than a decade of posting my opinions on FB, even very harsh opinions against Benigno Aquino 3e when he was in power, I was only restricted then – after posting critical opinions against Robredo and favorable opinions for Marcos.
The last post that restricted me makes me think that Robredo’s camp has devised a way to identify FB users who have written against his candidacy and have a significant number of followers. As shown in the screenshot accompanying this article, FB claimed I was limited because of this post in which I commented that importunate candidate Walden Bello shouldn’t be fuming about martial law so much since he doesn’t. Wasn’t even there for the duration of martial law. period. (He was studying in the United States and working in left-wing think tanks and organizations.)
How could this comment violate “Community Standards?”
Watch out, friends. Shout out to other social media platforms whenever Facebook removes your voice.
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