Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Roque: 'Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior' on Facebook is protected by right to free speech

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The AFP and the PNP insisted that they had no hand in the management of social media accounts busted by Facebook for spreading disinformation. 

But now the President is threatening Facebook because of closing down the said social media accounts which he calls "advocacy" groups. Lol!

Facebook removed two networks from the Philippines and China for violating its policies on coordinated inauthentic behavior. The networks would often red-tag activists, support the anti-terror law, and discuss the South China Sea and Hong Kong from a pro-China viewpoint. 

In a blog post on Tuesday, September 22, Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Security Policy at Facebook, said the removal was due to the behavior of the networks and not the content of posts made. 

And now the Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque says even 'coordinated inauthentic behavior' on Facebook is protected by the right to free speech. 

So the presidential spokesman is defending the government's right to manipulate at scale. Well, at least that's transparent. 

Seriously, Harry Roque? "Inauthentic behavior" is not in any way ethical at all.

That's an outright admission that, indeed,  they're disseminating lies and disinformation. No more subtlety about it. Directly right from the horse’s mouth! This government blatantly mocks us as if we are too stupid to comprehend their dastardly doings.

The network's content “praised President Rodrigo Duterte and his family allies, notably his daughter, and the daughter of former president Ferdinand Marcos, Senator Imee Marcos.” 

Data show that police pages habitually publish disinformation or amplify content from fake news purveyors and hate-mongers. This could put targets in harm's way. 

They're called influence operations or information operations: insidious manipulation that has made Filipinos doubt the facts, replacing them with lies. One came from China. The other from the Philippine military and police.

So this is where the intelligence funds go? This is where our taxes go?

What happened to this guy Roque? He used to make sense in pre-Duterte days. Matindi talaga  ang veerus na ito....nawawalan ka rin ng common sense at moral values.

I disagree with what Roque said. The right to free speech covers real & juridical persons, not bots and those posing as somebody else. And Facebook, based on information they shared, was able to prove that accounts taken down have no real person owners.

Army Captain Alexandre F. Cabales has been identified as one of the operators of a network of pages taken down by Facebook for “coordinated inauthentic behavior" that targeted activists and legal organizations, according to The Atlantic Council’s DFRLab.

Two more soldiers from the Philippine Army were identified to be among the operators of the fake pages that were taken down by Facebook for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” against activists and legal groups.

AFP chief of staff Gilbert Gapay asked Facebook to restore pages that were taken down for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” against activists and legal groups. 

Gapay specifically sought the restoration of the Hands Off Our Children Facebook page. 

Now, if ever the government will rebutt that Facebook is linked with one of their biggest detractor aside from ABS-CBN, let's look at why Facebook partnered with Rappler,aside from Vera Files, for fact-checking? Because they were the two local organizations certified as fact-checkers through a non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network.

Journalists are not supposed to be the public relations managers of the government. They should report public interest truths regardless of how they make a government official or administration look.

Roque falsely accused Rappler of being anti-government. Though some of thir reports may put the government in a bad light, this is not due to malice on their part but their job as journalists to report critically on government actions.

But we are aware that there are media outfits that do sell their services and share news designed to elevate the personality of certain personalities, just as how they are also paid to spread maliciously damaging stories about others. After all, media outfits are primarily businesses, especially the dying print media that needs to survive amid the popularity of online counterparts.

As someone who once provided legal services to journalists, we should expect Roque to know better. I'm sorry but knowing who he is, his job as a Presidential Spokesperson, and the things he would do just to further his selfish interests, career, and agenda, we shouldn't expect anything good from him.

I already gave up on that since a long time ago. He sold his soul, honor and principle, so i think  there's nothing honorable to expect from him at this time.

To word it all so succinctly and elegantly based on what's happening, "A government that arrests people for posting legitimate criticism in social media has no moral standing to invoke "free speech" to defend its trolls and its inauthentic, coordinated, propaganda machine." Was that a bull's eye!

I'm personally curious if this government will dare ban Facebook, given its extensive propaganda network on the social media platform. Where will the trolls go next?

Can every single owner of the accounts taken down come out and sue facebook for violating their right to free speech? I’m sure that won’t be happening as the accounts are fake and do not represent real individuals.

Stolen profile pictures and images generated by artificial intelligence were used by a Chinese network to hide the nature of its fake accounts, a report from Graphika revealed. This proves the inauthenticity of these accounts which means they are not real persons.

My real concern now is: Are Filipinos intelligent enough to discern between fake and real information online? If we look at what has been happening, I could say "No" only because these  "Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior" proliferators are too widespread and have enough resources and funds to brainwash their targets - the Filipino people.

*Shout-outs or "tweets" gathered from all over social media, specifically Twitter. With special mention to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

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