AFP accounts 'up and running'; PNP 'disowns' unofficial personnel actions after Facebook move


Posted at Sep 23 2020 01:38 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2020 01:56 PM

MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police said Wednesday they continue to uphold the truth and have remained compliant with social media standards after Facebook said it removed accounts linked to their organizations.

Facebook on Wednesday removed accounts, pages and profiles of 2 networks due to "coordinated inauthentic behavior," one which has "links" to the AFP and the police, Facebook's Head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher told reporters.

The AFP is looking into the report and that all its official accounts are "up and running," AFP spokesperson Marine Major General Edgard Arevalo said in a statement. 

"We in the AFP are looking at that report by Facebook in removing certain accounts and posts in its platform...The AFP upholds truth and accountability of network and SocMed account managers as to the contents of postings in our websites, pages, and accounts," Arevalo said. 

In a separate statement, the PNP said official Facebook pages are compliant and that comments and opinions of individual personnel and other groups were "unofficial."

"As far as we are concerned, official Facebook pages of the PNP and those of our lower units remain compliant with standards and continue to serve its purpose along these objectives," said PNP Spokesperson P.Col Ysmael Yu.

"All comments and opinions of individual personnel, associations and sectoral groups on matters that are not related to the organization's activities are hereby disowned by the PNP as unofficial and unauthorized," Yu added.

Yu said the police force "respects" the action taken by the social media giant "on what they perceive to be violations of its terms of use."

Facebook said it took down 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages, and 20 Instagram accounts with "links" to the military and police. However, it did not disclose the extent of the alleged involvement of uniformed personnel.

The military and police-linked network focused their inauthentic behavior in domestic politics, military activities against terrorism, anti-terrorism bill, criticism of communism, youth activists and opposition, the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military wing the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Facebook said.

"Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to Philippine military and Philippine police," Gleicher said. 

Several profiles and pages were removed for using fake accounts to evade enforcement, post content, comment or manage pages, the platform has said.

Facebook said it has so far removed 100 networks globally for violating its policies.