Twitter has suspended hundreds of accounts that were reportedly connected to supporters of Philippine presidential frontrunner, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. According to the microblogging platform, those accounts violated the rules on manipulation and spam. Twitter also said that it used both human review and technology in deciding to suspend over 300 accounts and hashtags, Al Jazeera reported. The social media giant informed that a probe is presently underway.
Veteran politician, 64-year-old Marcos, who is the son of a late leader overthrown in a 1986 “people power” revolution, has emerged as the leading candidate ahead of the May elections. Al Jazeera quoted a Twitter spokesperson as saying, “We remain vigilant about identifying and eliminating suspected information campaigns targeting election conversations.”
Meanwhile, Marcos’ chief of staff, Vic Rodriguez, lauded Twitter for its work but emphasised that there was no categoric proof to state that all suspended accounts were supporters of Marcos. Rodriguez was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying, “We commend Twitter for keeping a close watch against platform manipulation, spam and other attempts to undermine the public conversation.”
Marcos Jr’s followers are major users of social media
Better known as “Bongbong”, Marcos Jr has significant opponents in the political scene of the Philippines he has a massive following both at home and abroad. It is to note that Marcos Jr’s supporters are mainly users of social media. The media report stated that the usage of social media, according to many, has created political discourse in the Philippines susceptible to manipulation through social media.
The latest suspension of hundreds of accounts came after Twitter on Monday said that it would expand a test feature that would allow users to flag the misleading content including in the Philippines, Brazil and Spain. The suspension also follows an article by Rappler which stated that the supporters of Marcos were seeking to dominate the microblogging platform through the accounts created over just a short period of time.
Twitter reportedly took note of the report and said that most of the 300 accounts had been taken down earlier in routine actions. The presidential elections in the Philippines are set to take place on 9 May 2022.