AlterMidya: FB’s arbitrary removal of journos’ posts ‘disturbing’
A group of independent and progressive members of alternative media on Thursday described as “disturbing” Facebook’s arbitrary take down of posts by some journalists.
“We, alternative media members of AlterMidya, express our concern over Facebook’s blocking of certain accounts of journalists, artists and activists apparently because they shared posts criticizing the Marcos family and the plans to move the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” AlterMidya said in a statement.
Facebook had recently taken down the post of journalist Ed Lingao against the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the “Libingan ng mga Bayani” because “it violated Facebook community standards.”
Facebook has then apologized to the veteran journalist for removing his post.
“The post was incorrectly removed and has since been restored. We promptly restored the content once we realized this, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience caused,” Facebook said in a statement.
Aside from Lingao, other journalists’ Facebook accounts were suspended after sharing the post.
The social networking giant had also taken down the profile account of the Economic Journalists of the Philippines (EJAP) a day after it posted a statement criticizing incoming Pres. Duterte’s statements on the killing of journalists.
It restored the account as a page two days later, explaining that the group’s profile violated Facebook’s authenticity policies.
AlterMidya described the arbitrary take down of Facebook post as disturbing.
“That Facebook can arbitrarily block users from posting, take down and restore posts and accounts is disturbing,” it said.
“We are concerned that Facebook can summarily censor certain posts, especially those of a political or journalistic nature, without due process and apparently upon the goading of pro-Marcos and pro-Duterte supporters or trolls,” it added.
The group said that “it is precisely in defense of our civil right to free expression that we express this concern.”
“Alternative voices like ours, often stifled by the corporate-driven media industry, often turn to social media networks like Facebook to get our message across,” it said.
“We hope Facebook will review its recent actions and dispel our concerns of censorship. It is also hoped that Facebook will ensure that its policies protect free expression and press freedom,” it added. JE
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