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Facebook takes down 220 pages, 73 accounts, 29 Instagram accounts related to PHL’s Twinmark

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Social media and social networking company Facebook said Friday it deleted 220 FB pages and 73 accounts, as well as 29 Instagram accounts in what it called “one of the most significant take downs in the world.”

Facebook has informed the Philippine government about the move as one of the pages, belonging to a media enterprise, was followed by 43 million accounts, the majority of which were from the Filipino community.

Facebook took down Twinmark Media Enterprises, a digital marketing company, and all its subsidiaries completely from its platform just earlier on Friday.

Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Facebook’s Cybersecurity Policy, noted that Twinmark Media was caught repeatedly violating Facebook’s spam policies and manipulating public information through coordinated inauthentic behavior, use of fake accounts, and selling administration access to Facebook pages in order to increase profit.

“We have notified the Philippine government already regarding it, but we don’t recommend what the government should do. We’re more focused on removing the violating behavior from our platform,” Gleicher said.

Facebook initiated investigations as early as November 2018, when it first identified the group selling access to their Facebook pages.

Some of the most popular pages of Twinmark are “Filipino Channel Online,” “Gorgeous Me,” “Unhappy,” “Text Message,” and “TNP Media.”

A total of 43 million accounts followed at least one of these Facebook pages, a majority were from the Filipino community, according to Facebook.

In the previous years, former Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson posted links to her Facebook page from the Trending News Portal’s (TNP) site. 

Uson has faced complaints for supposedly spreading disinformation and deceiving the public. She has since resigned from her position at PCOO and filed her certificate of nomination to become an AA-Kasosyo Party-list representative in the House of Representatives.

“This is one of the most significant take downs in the world. We’re not just removing the vioalting behavior, we are removing the entire organization,” Gleicher said.

“When we take an action like this we don’t take an action based on the nature of the content of the page … Instead, we’re looking at the behavior, which is the selling of these pages and the spam policies,” he emphasized.

An example of Twinmark’s violation is the name change of its Facebook pages after garnering a large following, substantially changing the Page’s subject matter—a violation of the Facebook’s policies on misleading and manipulating followers.

Twinmark has not taken any action to contact Facebook regarding the issue, Gleicher noted.

Facebook has taken down more than 20 organizations all over the world the previous year.

“Our team is continuously looking for these types of behavior. And as we find these clusters, we will take them down,” Gleicher said. —VDS, GMA News

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