Putting this under the "tech4good" forum branch because it's an example of how the tools that can be so effective for advocacy that helps people can also be used to suppress and oppress.
What Happens When the Government Uses Facebook as a Weapon?
It’s social media in the age of “patriotic trolling” in the Philippines, where the government is waging a campaign to destroy a critic—with a little help from Facebook itself.
The Philippines is prime Facebook country—smartphones outnumber people, and 97 percent of Filipinos who are online have Facebook accounts. Maria Ressa, co-founder of the Philippines’ largest online news site, Rappler, held a public forum that introduced Duterte to Filipino millennials on the platform where they live. Duterte, a quick social media study despite being 71 at the time of the election, took it from there. He hired strategists who helped him transform his modest online presence, creating an army of Facebook personalities and bloggers worldwide. His large base of followers—enthusiastic and often vicious—was sometimes called the Duterte Die-Hard Supporters, or simply DDS. No one missed the reference to another DDS: Duterte’s infamous Davao Death Squad, widely thought to have killed hundreds of people. Since being elected President in May 2016, Duterte has turned Facebook into a weapon. The same Facebook personalities who fought dirty to see Duterte win were brought inside the Malacañang Palace. From there they are methodically taking down opponents, including a prominent senator and human-rights activist who became the target of vicious online attacks and was ultimately jailed on a drug charge. And then, as Ressa began probing the government’s use of social media and writing stories critical of the new president, the force of Facebook was turned against her.
Here is the whole story from Forbes.
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
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