Press Release
February 1, 2018


Sen. Grace Poe denied rumors that she is allegedly proposing to ban Facebook in the country.

"Yan ang fake news. Hindi totoo yan. First of all, that's counterproductive... Mali. Yun talaga ang disinformation," Poe said in a TV interview Thursday.

But while the "trending" Facebook video--which had been spliced to make it appear that the senator wanted to ban Facebook use--was made to discredit her and the ongoing hearings on the proliferation of fake news, Poe said they cannot stop what is being spread online.

"Yung mga lumabas [sa social media], syempre hindi natin pipigilan. Ako mismo nasa Facebook, yung mga anak ko nasa Facebook, marami sa ating mga kababayan ang kumukuha ng balita mula sa Facebook," Poe stressed.

During the hearing last Jan. 30, Poe was asking a law expert about the extent of the government's reach in blocking hate speech and expressions online that border on criminal liability.

"Not that we're going to do this. I'll be the first to disagree if they do. But let's say, can you block a particular company like Facebook from being accessed in the Philippines? Of course that would spark a revolution and we know that. But what I'm saying is this: They're banking on their popularity but we should also assert their accountability to us," Poe had said, in reference to the accountability of the social media giant for its failure to address offensive speech.

She appealed to netizens to make a critical examination of the information they receive and "cross-check" facts from lies.

"We should be able to inform the citizens that they should be able to cross-check information that they get online. We've come up also with our own video of the proceedings, kasi it [video circulating online] was spliced. If you're conscientious enough and you really want to find the truth,...kasi kapag ayaw mong malaman ang katotohanan madali namang kalimutan yan," Poe said, adding she has countered disinformation with the correct information.

Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, wants to compel the attendance of Facebook executives in the next hearing to discuss the "algorithms" that it uses to control what information appears in a user's news feed.

"What we're trying to do is how we can encourage Facebook to be able to cooperate with us," Poe emphasized, adding that governments in the European Union have initiated a crackdown to fight fake news and compelled social media sites to flag illegal, hateful, defamatory and racist expressions within 24 hours. (30)

FYI on our FB post:

"Ganyang mga produkto ng fake news factories ang ating nilalabanan. Isang malaking industriya na sa ating bansa ang pagbabaluktot ng katotohanan."

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