Twitter suspends accounts defending Philippine government response to the pandemic
The accounts were found to be in violation of Twitter’s platform manipulation and spam policies, the social media site told The Washington Post in an email.
and scroll to the 6:42 pm update or search “Philippines”.
MANILA — Twitter suspended “hundreds of accounts” tweeting under hashtags defending the response of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s government to the coronavirus pandemic.
The accounts were found to be in violation of Twitter’s platform manipulation and spam policies, the social media site told The Washington Post in an email. Among the examples of behavior that Twitter says violate its rules on spam are posting duplicate content across multiple accounts, creating duplicate or multiple accounts, and sending large numbers of unsolicited replies or mentions.
Since the declaration of a lockdown, critics and supporters of the government have been battling online. Many of the users tweeting support had suspicious elements: bot-like numbers on Twitter handles, few followers and new accounts — some created as recently as this month.
On April 1, a video report by broadcasting giant ABS-CBN on arrests among the urban poor went viral. #OustDuterte became the top trending hashtag in the Philippines.
The next day, the hashtags #IStandWithThePresident and #YesToABSCBNShutdown trended. The network is facing issues regarding the renewal of its franchise, and celebrities under its entertainment circle also decried the government response.
By April 3, critics responded with #ICantStandThePresident. On April 4, troll-like accounts responded to #OustDuterte with #OursDuterte.
Since Duterte was elected president in 2016, online political support in the Philippines has been largely manufactured. Politicians, through public relations strategists, tap “trolls” to create multiple accounts to foster an illusion of support and sway public opinion.
“Trolls [and] supporters are mostly reactive to the organic display of criticism,” said Noemi Dado, a blogger and member of the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation. “Duterte is supposed to have a high satisfaction rating … so the trolls must make it look like Duterte is loved.”
Similar activity was noted on Facebook, with accounts supportive of the president sharing posts copied word for word.
As of its March report ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/04/08/coronavirus-latest-news-2/?fbclid=IwAR1JB3JhmHgikg0dlIHmiHmiYexWlAZscqt52ZjpsTANsZ1fbJYyZ1xK5oU ) on coordinated inauthentic behavior, the Philippines was not on the list of networks that Facebook took down.
By Regine Cabato