The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday it will confer with Facebook (FB) executives next week to settle pressing issues regarding the takedown of some “PH-based FB pages and accounts without prior consultation and due notice.’’
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año noted the meeting will discuss how Facebook uses content-based restrictions.
He added that the two sides are expected to come up with solutions on how social media can help the government fight fake news and disinformation.
“Factual information can empower people to partake in nation-building such as government’s efforts to control COVID-19,” said Año.
Earlier, Malacañang had accused the social media giant of censorship while a senator has filed a Senate resolution to investigate the removal of the social media accounts.
Sen. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa said this is a matter of protecting the freedom of speech.
Facebook has confirmed taking down Philippine-based accounts for showing “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
The DILG chief stressed that “criminals and extremist groups have taken advantage of the pandemic to sabotage the delivery of government services.’’
He said these groups are using social media to spread fake news and push their malicious agenda.
In last Wednesday’s workshop, Año told the 250 webinar participants that he was also a victim of fake news.
As a result, Año confirmed that he was “subjected to public ridicule.’’
“Sa panahon ngayon marami ang namimisqoute dahil may mga gumagawa nang fake news (At present, a lot of people are misquoted with the proliferation of fake newse news),” Año said.
Año announced that a case has been filed against two individuals who were purveyors of the fake news about him that went around Facebook recently.
He cited the need for a well-defined communication strategy.
Stressing his point, Año described it as “critical because the information has the capacity to boost the morale of the institution while fake news can bring down its credibility.’’
The webinar workshop, “The Writer’s Studio: Communicating DILG messages in the New Normal,” aims to make participants more effective in serving the public and the community.