In the FMA Digitial Rights Report, FMA posts regular updates on what Filipinos need to know about their digital rights.

Here’s what you need to know this week:


Twitter bans political ads.

Social networking platform Twitter will ban political ads in its platform starting Nov. 22, according to its CEO Jack Dorsey. The decision in sharp contrast to Facebook’s stance on political ads. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a recent US Congressional hearing, stated he will not fact-check political ads. He also refused to answer a question on whether Facebook will take down false political ads.

While the move by Twitter sets a precedent for the worldwide campaign against disinformation, the real problems persist: Facebook and Google.

Inquirer editorial: ‘Problematic platform’

On a related note, Inquirer’s most recent editorial is about Facebook and how the platform continues to wreak havoc by way of disinformation and violations of data privacy. The editorial states, post 2016: “The country was witness to a startling sea change in the political environment — the corrosive, well-funded weaponization of social media, which has continued to this day despite FB’s intermittent attempts to remove fake accounts.” Read more via Inquirer.net.

Facebook content moderator shuts down the business.

After two investigative reports by The Verge, Cognizant, a company hired by Facebook and other social media platforms to moderate harmful content, will exit the content moderation business. The company will continue to honor contracts but will begin winding down the business by 2020.

Various reports have described the damaging consequences of content moderation to content moderators themselves — who have complained of mental health problems and miserable working conditions.

Duterte and fake news

A fake screenshot of a report meant to humiliate President Duterte made its way to Philippine headlines during the long weekend, as Malacañang decried the fake screenshot as an attempt by critics to malign the president. The fake screenshot was supposedly of a Thai leader berating the president to behave.

PhilStar reports: “It is unclear where the supposed screenshot originated or if it spread on social media at all but government officials have been offended by social media content in the past.”

Vote for FMA’s events at the Pinduteros Awards!

  • Two of FMA’s events are in the running for the 9th HR Pinduteros Choice Awards! Click on this link to vote for our two event-finalists: National ICT Month and the Digital Rights Camp.
  • Check out our photos on our recently-concluded 2019 Data Privacy and Protection Workshop for CSOs held at Ateneo de Naga University.

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