Face­book ban not enough

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

FACE­BOOK has banned a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing group and all its sub­sidiary pages and ac­counts for mis­rep­re­sent­ing them­selves and fool­ing mil­lions of Filipino fol­low­ers.

Nathaniel Gle­icher, head of Face­book’s Cy­ber­se­cu­rity Pol­icy, said last Jan. 10 Face­book banned Twin­mark Me­dia En­ter­prises, a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing group in the Philip­pines, and all its sub­sidiaries from Face­book and In­sta­gram for re­peat­edly vi­o­lat­ing its mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion and spam poli­cies.

Vi­o­la­tions in­cluded “co­or­di­nated in­au­then­tic be­hav­ior, the use of fake ac­count, lead­ing peo­ple to ad farms, and sell­ing ac­cess to Face­book pages to ar­ti­fi­cially in­crease dis­tri­bu­tion and gen­er­ate profit.” Gle­icher’s re­port may be viewed at https://news­room.fb.com; then search for Twin­mark.

Re­moved were 220 Face­book Pages, 73

Face­book ac­counts, and 29 In­sta­gram ac­counts re­lated to Twin­mark Me­dia. Gle­icher said about 43 mil­lion ac­counts fol­lowed at least one of these re­moved Face­book pages.

“We do not want our ser­vices to be used for this type of be­hav­ior, nor do we want the group to be able to reestab­lish a pres­ence on Face­book,” said Gle­icher.

Also re­moved were pages with high­est num­ber of fol­low­ers, in­clud­ing the Filipino Chan­nel On­line with 10.4 mil­lion fol­low­ers; Gor­geous Me, 5.7 mil­lion; Un­happy, 4.9 mil­lion; Text Mes­sage, 4.4 mil­lion; and TNP Me­dia, 4.3 mil­lion.

Gle­icher ad­mit­ted that these banned pages will find ways to get back on the plat­form. He said Face­book will con­tinue to work to “un­cover such kind of abuse,” and “we know that the peo­ple be­hind it—whether eco­nom­i­cally or po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated—will con­tinue to evolve their tac­tics.” They may be gone now, but back soon in an­other shape, form or name.

While the Face­book ban has been long in com­ing, it is not enough to stop these per­sons or groups be­cause they will al­ways find ways to cheat the sys­tem and re­sume their mon­ey­mak­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. The best way is for

Face­book, the coun­try’s Depart­ment of In­for­ma­tion and Tech­nol­ogy Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and other agen­cies on cy­ber­se­cu­rity to go af­ter these in­di­vid­ual’s fi­nances. Hit them where it hurts most–their pock­ets.

Check tax re­turns of these in­di­vid­u­als or their com­pa­nies. Do they is­sue of­fi­cial re­ceipts for their fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions? Do they have the needed gov­ern­ment per­mits to op­er­ate such a busi­ness?

Do it the Eliot Ness’s way when he went against the mafia. Ness was a United States Trea­sury agent who used fi­nan­cial records of the mafia to go af­ter Al Capone’s booze-smug­gling Chicago em­pire.

Since some on­line ac­tiv­i­ties ap­pear like mafia work, with their brother­hood, code of si­lence and de­struc­tive (although not phys­i­cal) ways, then the best way to stop them is to hit them in their fi­nances. The Face­book ban will only stop them tem­po­rar­ily.

With the elec­tions still four months away, there’s time for these peo­ple to re­group, be re­source­ful and cre­ate mil­lions of ac­counts and mil­lions of fol­low­ers. Un­less stopped by other means./sun­star Cebu

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