Tue. May 24th, 2022

Twitter says it has used both human review and technology to decide to suspend more than 300 accounts and hashtags.

Twitter has suspended hundreds of accounts promoting Filipino presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who they say violated spam and manipulation rules.

Veteran politician Marcos (64), son of overthrow the late leader in a 1986 “people power” revolution, emerged as the main candidate before the May vote.

Twitter said it used both human review and technology to decide to suspend more than 300 accounts and hashtags, adding that its investigations are ongoing.

“We remain vigilant about identifying and eliminating suspected information campaigns targeting election talks,” a Twitter spokesman said.

Marcos ‘chief of staff, Vic Rodriguez, praised Twitter for his work, but stressed that there was no certainty that all the accounts belonged to Marcos’ supporters.

“We commend Twitter for keeping a close eye on platform manipulation, spam and other attempts to undermine public discourse,” he said in a statement.

The Marcos family remains one of the richest and most influential forces in Philippine politics, who have served as senators, lower house MPs and provincial governors for the past three decades.

High social media engagement

Although Marcos Jr., better known as “Bongbong”, has powerful opponents in the political establishment, he enjoys a large following at home and abroad in the Philippines, who are major users of social media.

This practice, according to many political discourses in the Philippines, has been susceptible to manipulation via social media.

Twitter said Monday it will expand a testing feature that will allow users to flag misleading content to include the Philippines, Brazil and Spain.

News website Rappler reported this week that Marcos fans were trying to dominate Twitter through accounts created over a short period of just a few months. Twitter took note of the report, saying the majority of the 300 accounts had been removed earlier as part of routine actions.

Twitter said sharing political content or recruiting people to do so via hashtags is within its rules unless bills are unauthorized, automated or paid for, but it has seen “no clear evidence” of it.

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