Facebook has removed a TV5 anchor's post on criticisms of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's plans to allow dictator Ferdinand Marcos' burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery), because the post allegedly violated community standards set by the website.
"Are they serious? It makes you wonder if the Facebook reviewers even read what they strike down." Ed Lingao wrote as a response on Wednesday, June 1.
Last May 24, Lingao drafted and posted a Facebook status - his response to the President-elect's proposal to allow the late dictator to be buried at the cemetery. Duterte's announcement sparked widespread opposition around the country, and even with the relatives of those already buried there.
Lingao had expressed his doubts over a "healing process" happening over the longtime controversial and divisive issue, if a Marcos burial were to occur. He pointed out that around 10,000 people were victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos regime, and an estimated $10bn dollars were stolen by the family throughout their years in power.
He questioned the actors prioritized in this "healing process" - whether it was on the thousands of innocent citizens who were brutally victimized as well as the prosecutors still searching for the remaining 5 billion dollars in hidden wealth, or on the Marcoses, who, in his words, "chooses to ignore all this...because it simply wants the patriarch buried as a hero."
"Who is really holding the nation hostage here?" he asked readers, "And so, really, who should move on?"
Other media personalities have also found themselves entangled in the censorship, such as Nonoy Espina and other colleagues who found their Facebook accounts suspended after sharing Lingao's post.
Journalist Inday Espina-Varona, Nonoy's sister, states that the suspension is because of an supposed outpour of Marcos trollers complaining after a page they are part of shared the TV5 journalist's recent post on the family of the late dictator.
Facebook's community standards forbid posts that contain hate speech, graphic and violent content, bullying and harassment, nudity, attacks on public figures, direct threats, criminal activity, sexual exploitation and violence, dangerous organizations, regulated goods, and self-injury, among others. Content reviewers are assigned to sort through the posts reported for violating these standards.
However, the site stated that the amount of reports on a particular post will not have an impact as to whether it will be removed or not, and added that it does not remove content solely on a huge number of reports.