Saturday, 15 Aug 2020

Singapore GE2020: Facebook takes down Fabrications About the PAP page

SINGAPORE – Facebook has taken down the Fabrications About the PAP (FAP) page, after it discovered that the page had violated its policies.

In response to queries from The Straits Times on Sunday (June 28), Facebook said that the page’s removal was part of a broader effort to address problematic accounts.

“We’ve taken action on several accounts in Singapore for violating our policies. These accounts were discovered during our ongoing proactive work to find and take action on accounts that violate our policies,” said a Facebook spokesman.

“This action is based on the behaviour of these accounts, not based on the content they posted.”

Facebook did not specify what these other accounts were, but ST understands that Facebook took action on the accounts by either removing them or asking for more information from the account owners to validate their authenticity before they can continue using it.

Before its removal, the FAP page had amassed more than 250,000 likes.

The page, started by a Mr Chua Chin Seng, had received a warning from the police in 2017 for breaching election advertising rules during the Bukit Batok by-election.

Earlier this month, Facebook said it had taken similar action against several accounts in Singapore for what it called “inauthentic behaviour”.

It had also laid out several steps it said it is taking to protect the integrity of the upcoming general election, which include doing sweeps of its users to ensure that it removes accounts that are impersonating candidates and elected officials.

Facebook has said it will be launching an election day reminder service that will direct users to official information on the Elections Department’s website.

As much of the campaigning is expected to be held online during this election, Facebook added that it is engaging political parties to make sure candidates use its platforms effectively, like it did during the South Korean election in April.

Facebook has in recent years come under scrutiny over the potential for it to be used as a tool to influence elections, most notably in the United States presidential election in 2016, in which Russia allegedly interfered.

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