BOTH the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have distanced themselves from the allegedly fake accounts that were taken down by social media site Facebook.
PNP Chief Camilo Cascolan and AFP Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay said Wednesday, September 23, 2020, that the official social media accounts of their organizations comply with Facebook standards.
“Official Facebook pages of the PNP and lower units are compliant with standards and we continue to serve its purpose along these objectives,” Cascolan said.
“Rest assured that the AFP does not tolerate the uploading of fake news and fictitious social media accounts. Still, yun nga ang ano namin, baka personal accounts ang kasama nito,” Gapay added.
AFP spokesperson Edgard Arevalo said no official AFP account was shut down by Facebook.
He said they were going to coordinate with Facebook on the latter’s claim that most of the accounts it took down were traced to police and military units in the Philippines.
Facebook removed 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages and 20 Instagram accounts for alleged “coordinated inauthentic behavior”.
Nathaniel Gleicher, cybersecurity policy chief of Facebook, said the fake accounts posted primarily in Filipino and English about local news and events.
“We are attributing this network to the Philippine military and the Philippine police. In particular, we found links between, behind this network connected to both of these organizations and individuals associated with those organizations,” he said.
Philippine Army spokesman Ramon Zagala, in a message to reporters Thursday, September 24, said the Army does not condone the use of fake accounts as a matter of policy.
“We impose our own social media policy internally to ensure that our official accounts as well as the personal accounts of our personnel only release accurate information to protect our people especially the youth,” he said.
He urged Facebook to identify the fake accounts so the Army can investigate. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)