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Philippine Military to Review Troop Accounts After Facebook Purge

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  • The Philippine military said Wednesday it will review the social media accounts of service members after Facebook took down a network linked to state security forces it accused of “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” 
  • Facebook said it had removed two networks—one traced to the Philippines and another to China’s Fujian province—for violating its policies.
  • The Philippine network involved 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages, and 20 Instagram profiles, according to Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at the social media giant. 
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

Manila, Philippines — The Philippine military said Wednesday it will review the social media accounts of service members after Facebook took down a network linked to state security forces it accused of “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” 

Facebook said it had removed two networks—one traced to the Philippines and another to China’s Fujian province—for violating its policies.

The Philippine network involved 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages, and 20 Instagram profiles, according to Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at the social media giant. 

“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to Philippine military and Philippine police,” he said in a blog post.

Activities focused on local politics, military operations, a controversial anti-terrorism bill, and criticism of communist insurgents.

Philippine military chief Lieutenant-General Gilbert Gapay on Wednesday urged troops to comply with Facebook guidelines.

“The (armed forces of the Philippines) does not tolerate the uploading of fake news and fictitious social media accounts,” he said ahead of a meeting later Wednesday with Facebook officials in Manila.

“This development also prompted us to review personnel accounts and remind them of our policies.”

Philippine police chief Camilo Cascolan said official force Facebook pages “remain compliant.”

The force adheres to “cyber etiquette and proper decorum in all public engagements including social media,” he said.

Tuesday’s action by Facebook was the third takedown of suspicious Philippine accounts since 2018 when it stepped up an offensive against misinformation.

In January 2019, it removed hundreds of pages with 43 million followers linked to a local digital marketing group. 

Facebook said the campaign out of China it took down focused on the Philippines and South East Asia, but also took aim at the US presidential race.

Posts commented particularly on naval activity in the South China Sea, including US vessels.

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