Bagong Alyansang Makabayan reported that an increasing number of statements and videos of its members have been removed on Facebook for containing references to the late Filipino revolutionary leader Jose Maria Sison.
BAYAN denounced the automated censorship and warned against tech companies policing the internet on behalf of state trolls and authoritarian regimes.
The repeated removal of posts honoring the legacy of Sison, whose life and works are featured in history classes and textbooks, reflects the systematic efforts of state-funded trolls to erase any trace of online dissent. It also exposes how the so-called community standards of Facebook are arbitrarily invoked to silence activists and revolutionaries.
Apparently, the takedown of our posts is linked to Facebook’s list of Dangerous Individuals and Organizations as reported by investigative news website The Intercept. The list uncritically accepts the government’s definition of ‘enemies of the state’ which includes revolutionaries and public intellectuals like Sison.
It is absurd to claim that censoring posts is aimed at promoting public safety when the platform allows the proliferation of posts that incite hate, bigotry, misogyny, and violence directed against activists, government critics, and Leftist groups.
Facebook’s algorithm is tweaked against groups targeted by the government’s red-tagging machinery. Meanwhile, it tolerates anti-Left disinformation and hate speech under the guise of upholding freedom of expression.
Facebook is not just guilty of being complicit in legitimizing censorship; it is enabling harm and state-sponsored violence directed against activists.
At the very least, Facebook should restore the posts it removed and the accounts it restricted. It should review its community standards and ensure the protection of individuals and groups who are at risk of facing state reprisals. And if it is sincere in enhancing the safety of its users, it should address the vicious troll operations that spread lies, hate, and violence against activists and human rights defenders.
We call on internet users to resist digital censorship by challenging the unjust and arbitrary actions of Facebook. We enjoin fellow Filipinos and digital rights advocates to defend and assert our freedom of expression amid the intensifying attacks of state forces.
Categories: Statements


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