Today's Punto
Today's Punto
‘Community standards’

Jan 09, 2018

FACEBOOK TOOK down on Jan. 2 a blogger-columnist’s post in reaction to the platform’s takedown of a viral post denouncing the alleged compromise deal between the government and the Marcos family.

Tonyo Cruz, who writes a biweekly column for the Manila Bulletin, received past 8 p.m. a notice from Facebook that it has taken down his post entitled “Community Standards ng mga Kawatan.”

Cruz’s post denounces Facebook’s takedown of the post of TV/radio host and educator Gang Badoy, which contains photos of the alleged draft agreement between the government and the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Badoy’s post prompted a reaction from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denying the alleged deal, but confirmed the Palace had received a copy of it. The host’s post was taken down by Facebook Tuesday morning for “violating community standards” but was restored at past 1 p.m.

The platform apologized for “accidentally removing” the content.

Hours later, however, Cruz’s post was taken down as well.

“Facebook has also prevented me from posting on its website and from accessing my Messenger account. The official reason they gave is that I violated ‘community standards,’” Cruz said in a statement sent to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

“I can still log in but I cannot post, comment or send a message for the same reason — ‘violation of community standards,’” he added.

As of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Cruz’s account has been restored. Cruz is a respected blogger, social media strategist and consultant, and columnist.

A former activist, Cruz has spoken out on many different political and social issues, including the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family and the human rights abuses committed under the Marcos regime.

The NUJP condemns Facebook’s baseless takedown of netizens’ posts critical of the government and institutions, as it is a direct infringement on the users’ right to freedom of expression.

We call out Facebook for its arbitrary “community standards,” which is often used as a basis for expurgating critical and thought-provoking commentaries.

We urge the social media platform to review its guidelines to ensure that it will not violate the people’s right to freely express themselves.

(NUJP statement dated Jan. 3, 2017 signed by acting chair Atty. Jocelyn Clemente)

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