No proposal to ban Facebook in PH: Poe


MANILA — Senator Grace Poe on Thursday denied reports that she had proposed to ban Facebook use in the Philippines after spliced videos that made it appear that it was her intention circulated online.

Yan ang fake news. Hindi totoo ‘yan. First of all, that’s counterproductive. Mali. ‘Yun talaga ang disinformation (That’s fake news. That’s not true. First of all, that’s counterproductive. Wrong. That’s really disinformation),” Poe said in a TV interview.

Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, also urged netizens to be more discerning on information they receive online.

“We should be able to inform the citizens that they should be able to cross-check information that they get online,” Poe said.

She said that her team had countered disinformation by coming up with their own video of the proceedings.

The senator, meanwhile, expressed hope that Facebook executives would show up during the next hearing to discuss the “algorithms” that it used 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,” she added.

During the hearing on fake news last January 30, Poe asked 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?” she asked during the hearing. “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,” she added.

Poe said that the social media giant failed to address offensive speech.

Soon after that, a video of her speech was spliced to make it appear that the senator wanted to ban Facebook use and spread online.