Facebook bans PH company for spreading lies, manipulative behavior
MANILA — In a press release on January 11, Facebook announced it was banning digital marketing group Twinmark Media Enterprises from the platform for violating its policies.
According to Facebook, "This organization has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation and spam policies — including through coordinated inauthentic behavior, the use of fake accounts, leading people to ad farms, and selling access to Facebook Pages to artificially increase distribution and generate profit. 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."
As a result, Facebook has removed 220 pages, 73 accounts, and 29 Instagram accounts. This follows an investigation which found that Twinmark was selling access and admin rights to Facebook pages that they created, among them TNP Media with 4.3 million followers.
"This specific investigation began after we learned that Twinmark was selling admin rights to Facebook Pages it had created, in order to increase distribution and generate profit, which violates our spam policy. This prompted our teams to take a deeper look at a broader group of Pages and accounts associated with these users, ultimately uncovering a large network of Pages and accounts that were engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior, the use of fake accounts, leading people to ad farms and selling access to Facebook Pages."
What is Trending News Portal?
In December of 2017, Rappler ran a series of stories on Trending News Portal (TNP), a website that brands itself as a "digital news outfit," specializing in viral stories. Apart from viral content, bulk of its stories in 2016 are on President Duterte, among them questionable stories against his critics. Then Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson posted more than 500 posts linking to the site (trendingnewsportal.net. ph or tnp.ph) which has since changed URLs.
This isn't the first time Facebook has removed pages in the Philippines for policy violations. In October of 2018, Facebook has removed a network of 95 pages and 35 accounts, some of them pro-Duterte for sharing links to advertising click farms.