EDITORIAL - Facebook and good housekeeping
EDITORIAL - Facebook and good housekeeping
(The Freeman) - September 28, 2020 - 12:00am

Facebook has removed a number of accounts in social media after finding that their registered owners committed “coordinated inauthentic behavior”.

In the Philippines, these accounts included pages promoting China’s interests in the West Philippine Sea, some expressing support for politicians, and some run by the Philippine military, among others.

In the US, it also removed some pages and accounts that were found to have been run in China or Russia allegedly for the purpose of influencing the coming US elections in November.

In citing their reasons for doing so, Facebook said they targeted accounts and pages that were owned by people who misrepresented themselves and those who took questionable steps to “amplify” their content or gain more followers.

It is good that Facebook has taken this move. Social media accounts run by individuals who would rather not identify themselves, reveal their true purpose, or portray themselves to be solidly legitimate no matter what the cost, are usually up to no good.

Such accounts and pages have been a bane on society since social media started becoming established. What’s worse is that such accounts or pages are often perceived by some people as having more credibility than legitimate news sources, even if they spread fake news.

Such accounts and pages can also be blamed for causing misinformation and confusion.

However, good this move by the social media giant is it has also come into question as others are wondering at the timing of this move. Why was it done only now, and not before?

Jonathan Ong, associate professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in an interview over the ABS-CBN News Channel, raises the valid question why Facebook decided to conduct a thorough review of some accounts and pages only now.

According to Ong, Facebook might just be quickly rooting out questionable accounts and pages to show authorities it is doing something ahead of the US elections.

His theory isn’t that farfetched.

The social media giant should practice good housekeeping and periodically clean out its closet of questionable and fake accounts and pages that seek to fool people and cause misinformation and confusion.

We could have used Facebook’s good housekeeping during several critical times in our recent history. It would have saved many of our citizens from making certain wrong decisions, voting the wrong people, or stopped them from believing certain reports to be true.

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