De Lima asks Facebook: Take down fake news stories about me

Senator Leila de Lima

Manila, Philippines – Opposition Senator Leila de Lima once again appealed to Facebook on Sunday to take down the fake news stories and clips against her as these affect her reputation.

The detained senator expressed concerned over the proliferation of fake news in social media and asked Facebook to “exercise some responsibility” in the posts shared by its users.

“It has been a year since I last wrote a letter to Facebook expressing my concern over the continued proliferation of fake news that has been populating our social media, notably on Facebook, but the letter remained unanswered and unacted,” she said in a statement.

“As the world’s most-used and largest social network, the people behind Facebook should take disinformation seriously, considering that not everyone is well-versed about the distinction between fake news, propaganda, satire and fiction,” the former justice secretary added.

In a letter sent to Facebook Philippines Country Director Digs Dimagiba last year, De Lima expressed concern on the existence of “shadowy people” that spread false news in order to put the name of respectable people in a bad light.

She also mentioned in the letter addressed to Dimagiba the continuous distribution of fake news stories and clips posted in Facebook.

“These fake news stories have also mutated into fake videos and audio clips that have been recklessly shared and re-shared. Unfortunately, some of these fake news stories, videos and audio clips have found their ways into our mainstream news media and consequently, confused the public between real and fake news,” she wrote.

According to De Lima, the following were the false stories against her that were posted online: stories “that falsely claimed she had stepped down as senator, that she purchased a USD 6-million mansion in New York, USA, that UK congratulating the Senate for ousting De Lima and that detained De Lima was hospitalized after attempting secret suicide.”

“These fake news stories are negatively affecting our national discourse and public opinion. The continued distribution of false stories has also become a tool for power-hungry public officials to feed the public with poison and lies to propel their political career to greater heights,” De Lima said.

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