Sara Duterte’s Facebook account lockout not part of the recent purge

April 8, 2019 - 2:01 PM
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Sara Duterte locked out of Facebook_Interaksyon
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio got locked out her Facebook account in January 2019, months before the social media giant initiated a massive takedown of 200 pages, accounts and groups. (Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos)

The lockout of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s verified account was due to its flagged violations of Facebook’s policies and not part of its recent purge of a network of pages and accounts for “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

Davao City information officer Jefry Tupas previously claimed in a Facebook post that the presidential daughter was “one of the casualties of the Facebook purge.”

Facebook on March 29, 2019 removed 200 pages, groups and personal accounts that were discovered to have participated in an orchestrated network led by PR strategist Nic Gabunada, who led social media efforts in the 2016 national elections for some candidates, including then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook head of cybersecurity policy, said the pages were taken down since they were seen as “misleading others about who they were and what they were doing.”

They were taken down for the behavior and not for the type of content they produced, he explained.

What Sara’s camp says

Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio in interviews said that her account was locked out even before the massive purge had happened.

Tupas, despite claiming that it happened because of the massive take-down, confirmed her statement in a comment on his Facebook post.

“March ang last post niya. But nasabi niya sa akin na wala na ang account niya around January. Nakakapagpost lang siya because connected ang kanyang IG and FB,” he wrote.

Sara Duterte speaking to reporters at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Intramuros in June 2018. (The STAR/Edd Gumban)

The presidential daughter added in interviews, “‘Yung sa akin, matagal na [‘yung lock out], even before pa sa [nangyari sa] 200 accounts na tumutulong sa administration ni President Duterte.”

“Lagi nilang [Facebook] sinasabi na temporarily locked [ang account ko],” she said.

Duterte-Carpio added that she is not complaining despite the lockout since she does not have much time to use Facebook.

“Hindi naman ako nagrereklamo kasi wala din naman na akong masyadong time sa Facebook. The usual na ginagawa ko, nagpo-post na lang ako sa Instagram,” she said.

Violation of Facebook policies 

Facebook can lock out an account if it is deemed in violation of its “community standards.” Some of the common violations are:

  • Using a fake account
  • Misrepresentation
  • Indiscriminate number of groups joined
  • Posting and/or sending suspected spam posts and messages
  • Reaching the maximum number of friends
  • Being under age
  • Posting offensive content
  • Being hacked
  • Malware-related issues

A misrepresentation happens when a user creates a page that impersonates an individual or an entity.

A regular Facebook user can only be a part of 200 groups and have 5,000 friends.

He is also discouraged from posting too much in another user’s wall or in a group under a “too short time span” since it would be considered spamming, particularly if the posts are identical.

A user can also get locked out if he is deemed to be under 13-years-old. The social media platform only allows teenagers and adults to create accounts.

He can also get locked out for posting offensive content or anything that violates Facebook’s content-related policies which include violence and criminal behavior, hate speech, sexual activity and posts deemed “cruel” and “insensitive.” — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos