Social media giant Facebook has assured the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that it would remove accounts that violated its standards and engage in terrorism-related activities or posts, or at least those that express support.
“Facebook will turn off accounts that incite acts of terror related to the Marawi siege in the Philippines,” it said in a post on its account.
“Online extremism can only be tackled with strong partnerships,” according to the post.
“We have well-established law enforcement channels for governments to contact us about emergencies and contentd that violated our Community Standard,” Facebook said.
Facebook was responding to a request by the AFP to delete accounts Islamist militants have allegedly been using to spread misinformation about their attack in Marawi City and to coordinate their battle with security forces.
The military’s social media-monitoring team had identified 63 accounts under fake names and believed that these were being used by the Islamic State-allied Maute Group and its sympathizers.
“They are spreading lies, they are spreading misinformation and they are creating more problems in our fight against the terrorists,” Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera told a news conference on Friday, June 9, in Marawi, where at least 200 militants have been holed up 18 days after their attacks on the city to establish an independent state.
The threat of rebellion by the Maute Group prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the entire Mindanao region on May 23.
The ongoing fighting has claimed the lives of hundreds of police and military personnel and civilians, displaced thousands of residents and destroyed property.