Mike Defensor blocked from Facebook, seeks probe for 'censorship'

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2021 10:21 PM

MANILA - Anak Kalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor wants the House of Representatives to investigate Facebook for allegedly censoring his opinion on COVID-19.

This, after the lawmaker said he was blocked from accessing his personal account and his party-list group account on Facebook.

Defensor, who is not a medical expert, said Monday that Facebook "blocked me for giving my analysis on the COVID update report posted in the internet."

"I think it's about time that we investigate the policies on censorship of Facebook. 'Yung vaccination and 7-day average of COVID-19 cases of UK, Israel, US and Uttar Pradesh India. I will file reso (resolution). There’s a difference between fake news and expressing your opinion based on facts," he claimed.

In his last post on the Anak Kalusugan Facebook page, Defensor claimed that the number of COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh remains low, linking it to the use of anti-parasitic drug ivermectin.

 

Defensor has been advocating the use of ivermectin despite warnings from health experts.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a certificate of product registration (CPR) for locally produced ivermectin as an anti-parasitic drug for humans.

In May, Facebook said it would take "stronger" action against people who repeatedly share misinformation on the platform.

Facebook said will reduce the distribution of all posts in its news feed from a user account if it frequently shares content that has been flagged as false by one of the company's fact-checking partners, the social media giant said in a blog post. 

In the past, Facebook shut down a network of accounts that originated from China and the Philippines for engaging in “inauthentic coordinated behavior”.

It has also removed hundreds of accounts, groups and pages linked to a public relations person behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s social media campaign also for "inauthentic coordinated behavior”.

It has yet to issue a statement regarding Defensor's case.

Facebook has launched a worldwide campaign to fight misinformation about COVID-19 and promote authoritative information about vaccines. 

"We are removing false vaccine claims, reducing distribution of inaccurate health information, and informing people about effective vaccine delivery," the social media site said in a statement.

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