MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines accused Facebook on Tuesday of censoring pro-government content which it said was tantamount to curtailing freedom of speech and called for new measures to regulate the social media giant to “level the playing field”.
In the Southeast Asian country, President Rodrigo Duterte has been bolstered by establishing a powerful support base on social media platforms like Facebook, a factor that was instrumental in his election victory in 2016.
But Facebook last week dismantled a network of accounts that originated from China and the Philippines for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”, including one that Manila says it supports for its anti-communism stance.
The takedown drew the ire of Duterte who warned Facebook on Monday night that it should explain what its purpose is in his country if it wants to continue to operate.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte would not shut down Facebook, but he