Public urged to report suspect 'fake' accounts to Facebook
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Public urged to report suspect 'fake' accounts to Facebook

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - June 7, 2020 - 5:16pm

MANILA, Philippines — The public has been asked to continue reporting suspected duplicate accounts to Facebook, the National Privacy Commission said, after the latter brought circulating reports of the alleged clone accounts of students and activists to the attention of Facebook, which is reportedly investigating the issue. 

The reports began after activists and students of the University of the Philippines' Cebu campus were detained—a pattern acknowledged by the commission as well—but they have since come to include non-student activists in Manila.

In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, National Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro said that the commission was "monitoring reports about the proliferation of alleged impostor FB accounts that have victimized Filipino data subjects," urging users to report suspected clones.

Nothing else about the commission's next move was mentioned. 

READ: What to do if you or a friend has been 'cloned' on Facebook

"While the extent of these incidents are (sic.) not yet fully determined at this time, we have been receiving reports from different sectors, mostly coming from academic institutions. We immediately brought this to the attention of Facebook," Liboro said in the statement acquired by Philstar.com.  

"According to Ms. Clare Amador, Facebook Representative in the Philippines, they are already investigating this particular matter as well as other information on unauthorized FB accounts. Meanwhile, the Privacy Commissioner has instructed Facebook to reports (sic.) its significant findings as soon as it becomes available," he added. 

Asked about the commission's course of action for the time being along with its advice for affected social media users, Liboro has not responded as of this publishing. 

At least three reporters of Philstar.com have found duplicate accounts of themselves on Facebook as well. 

Earlier Sunday afternoon, the justice department said its cybercrime office was also working with the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police in looking into the accounts as well. 

READ: DOJ cybercrime office to investigate reports of clone Facebook accounts

Users on social media have linked the accounts to pro-administration troll farms after reporting that some of the purported duplicate accounts went as far as sending death threats to their namesakes, while militant groups have slammed the dummy accounts as a possible targeted retaliation at dissenters critical of the anti-terrorism bill.

The Philippine National Police and representatives of Facebook have yet to respond to requests for comment as of this publishing. 

"In the meantime, we urge everyone to report alleged impostor accounts to Facebook through https://www.facebook.com/help/report," the statement read. 

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