THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will meet with Facebook executives next week to discuss differences arising from the takedown of some PH-based FB pages and accounts without prior consultation and due notice.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año announced the meeting on Wednesday during a webinar for information officers of the DILG and its attached agencies and LGUs. “Factual information can empower people to partake in nation-building such as government’s efforts to control COVID-19,” said Año.
Malacañang had earlier 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.”
Año said the meeting will discuss how Facebook uses content-based restrictions. He also expected the two sides to come up with solutions on how social media can help the government fight fake news and disinformation.
He said, “criminals and extremist groups have taken advantage of the pandemic to sabotage the delivery of government services.” According to Año, these groups are using social media to spread fake news and push their malicious agenda.
The DILG Chief told 250 webinar participants that he was also a victim of fake news. As a result, he said, he was subjected to public ridicule. “Sa panahon ngayon marami ang namimisqoute dahil may mga gumagawa nang fake news (in our situation today, there have been numerous instances where people are misquoted as some are proliferating fake news),” he 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. He said this is 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.