Philippines: Facebook Removes China-based Fake Accounts

Social media giant Facebook said it has taken down more than 150 fake accounts that originated in China over interfering in Philippine politics, including those that promote Beijing’s interests in the South China Sea and that back President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter as his successor in 2022. The accounts, which have a vast following in the Philippines, were traced to individuals from Fujian, China, who were operating using virtual private networks (VPN) to hide their identities, Facebook said. “In Southeast Asia where this network focused most of its activity, they posted in Chinese, Filipino and English about global news and current events including Beijing’s interests in the South China Sea; Hong Kong; content supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte and Sarah Duterte’s potential run in the 2022 presidential election,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Facebook’s cybersecurity policy, said in a statement issued late on Tuesday. The accounts also ran posts against Rappler, an independent Philippine online news organization that is critical of the Duterte administration. “In each case, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts as a central part of their operations to mislead people about who they are and what they are doing,” Gleicher said. The Facebook official said the accounts were removed after they were found to have violated the company’s foreign or government interference policy through coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government entity. “We identified several clusters of connected activity that relied on fake accounts to pose as locals in countries they targeted, post in groups, amplify their own content, manage pages, like and comment on other people’s posts particularly about naval activity in the South China Sea, including U.S. Navy ships,” he said. “This campaign took operational security steps to conceal their identity and location including through the use of VPN. Some of this networks’ pages were previously removed for violating our inauthentic behavior and spam policies,” Gleicher said, adding the accounts also interfered in U.S. politics. Facebook said 155 accounts, 11 pages, and nine groups linked to this cluster were taken down from its main social media platform, while another six accounts were removed from Instagram. These accounts paid Facebook U.S. $60 [2,900 pesos] for advertising. Army, police accounts removed In addition to China-backed accounts, Facebook also found that the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines were linked to accounts that actively campaigned against the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed-wing, the New People's Army. “We also removed 57 Facebook accounts, 31 pages and 20 Instagram accounts for violating our policy against foreign or government interference which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign or government entity. This network originated in the Philippines and focused on domestic audiences,” the statement read. This cluster, which used “fake accounts to evade enforcement,” was most active in 2019 and 2020. The accounts posted in Filipino and English about local news and events including domestic politics and military activities against terrorism. They spent “around $1,100 in spending ads on Facebook, paid for in [53,400] Philippine pesos,” Facebook said. “Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to Philippine military and Philippine police,” Facebook said. These accounts targeted youth activists and the opposition. They uploaded several posts on the controversial anti-terrorism bill. More than 30 petitioners have questioned the bill’s constitutionality before the Supreme Court. The Philippine military denied that accounts maintained by them were removed. “The AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] upholds truth and accountability of network and SocMed [social media] account managers as to the contents of postings in our websites, pages and accounts,” military spokesman. Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement. On Wednesday, Facebook’s Philippine policy team led by Clare Amador met with Philippine military chief Gilbert Gapay in what was described as an “opportunity” to establish how the armed forces could work with the social media platform. “We are pleased to inform you that we have similar advocacies with FB, among them the fight against drug trafficking, child exploitation and counter terrorism,” the military said. In March 2019, Facebook took down a cluster of 200 fake accounts operated by Nic Gabunada, the man identified by news reports as the strategist behind Duterte’s social media campaign. Facebook said the accounts violated rules on fraudulent activities. Facebook said at the time that the accounts linked to Gabunada were “designed to look independent, but in fact we can see that they were coordinated.” These accounts spent at least $59,000 (2.86 million pesos) on advertisements. An estimated 74 million people used Facebook in the Philippines as of 2019, official government statistics showed. Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

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The Internet Takes Sides After Finding Out Offset Cheated on Cardi B

From secret weddings to cheating allegations, we have all been aboard Cardi B’s and Offset’s emotional rollercoaster as they climbed hills and encountered steep drops. However, as they neared their third wedding anniversary, the rappers have decided to unbuckle their seatbelts and end their wild ride. After overwhelming evidence of Offset repeatedly cheating throughout their relationship, Cardi B finally had enough.  On Tuesday, Cardi B’s lawyer submitted documents in Atlanta to divorce Offset and request full custody of their two-year old daughter Kulture. However, on Wednesday morning Cardi B made some adjustments as she disagreed with the terms her lawyer asked for. She wants an “amicable” divorce and a healthy co-parenting relationship with her daughter’s father. Relationship Timeline In attempts to keep their personal lives on the down low, Offset and Cardi B secretly got married in September 2017, but Offset publicly proposed in October – a month after they were already married. After months of keeping people in the dark on their marital status, the husband and wife revealed the truth in June 2018. However, the secrets did not end there. For a while, Cardi B held her pregnancy a secret as she wanted people to focus on her music rather than her personal life. When it became impossible to hide her pregnancy, Cardi B shocked fans as she boasted her pregnant body during her performance on SNL in April 2018. Cardi B officially reveals her pregnancy on #SNL — Rap-Up (@RapUp) April 8, 2018 Although their relationship had many milestones, there were rocks in the road as videos resurfaced of Offset cheating on Cardi B in December 2017 and January 2018. Despite pressure from fans to leave him, Cardi B stuck by his side.  But a year later, Cardi B announced on Instagram that the couple had broken up and she’s looking into getting a divorce.  Aww the way Cardi B is talking🥺 — AbikeArab Money💸 (@papaya_ex) September 16, 2020 Shortly after their breakup went public, Offset confessed that he missed his wife and ambushed Cardi B onstage during the Rolling Loud music festival with signs asking her to take him back. After a month of Offset’s multiple grand gestures, the couple got back together at the end of January 2019. For over a year, it seemed that their marriage was going strong as the couple expressed their love for each other on social media – especially this summer.  But it seems Offset has not learned his lesson as many women have come forward exposing their affairs with the Migos member, leading Cardi B to finally divorce him. Divorce Details According to TMZ, the original court documents stated that the couple have been separated for some time and Cardi B has no intention of getting back together with Offset. Cardi B’s lawyer requested for an “equitable share of marital assets,” which leads us to assume that – unlike many other celebrity marriages – there was no prenup when the rappers got married. Also, the lawyer asked for Cardi B to get full custody of her daughter and for Offset to pay child support and legal expenses. However, Cardi B was surprised by the stance her lawyer was taking, which led her to make some changes on Wednesday morning.  In the new documents, she wants Offset to have joint custody of their daughter and to not be forced to give any financial support. She wants this divorce to be smooth and friendly. The exes are set to appear in court on November 4 to determine the official terms of their divorce. Twitter Responses Although this is a serious and saddening situation for the two parties involved, people are taking to Twitter to create memes and jokes about their divorce. Cardi B is known for her sexual and explicit songs, and many are analyzing the lyrics to her song ‘WAP’ to explain why Offset was unfaithful. However, many are slut-shaming Cardi B in the process. Cardi B should’ve really learned to cook & clean for Offset instead of just relying on that WAP… didn’t get her too far after all. — DeAnna Lorraine 🇺🇸 (@DeAnna4Congress) September 15, 2020 I guess it ain't a WAP, her husband still get real WAP LOLWHAT does that ring mean now. Since you dont cook or clean. — MomaShugg (@MommaShugg1) September 16, 2020 Lol. So my question is: Does Cardi have that WAP if he cheating???? — La'Marcus (@Markkhuz) September 16, 2020 Cardi B doesn’t cook, she doesn’t clean and she can’t keep a man like my ex. @iamcardib. Shame — Omar Navarro (@RealOmarNavarro) September 15, 2020 Cardi b : “I don’t cook, I don’t clean” Offset: — NJ🏂 (@gIazersdead) September 15, 2020 Even though Cardi B has some haters, Offset has even more. Because of their past, most are commenting on Offset’s serial cheating habits. Offset trynna figure out why Cardi is divorcing him after cheating on her — ✌️ (@AmirMuhammadAli) September 15, 2020 Cardi B: i want a divorce Offset after cheating on her a billion times: — Active (@heypeopleexx) September 15, 2020 Cardi b : we’re getting a divorce i don’t deserve this Offset unblocking every insta model cardi made him block : — ⚔️Jeremy | Replay 〄 (@gardenpanty) September 15, 2020 Amid the news of Cardi B’s divorce, she has been receiving lots of love and support from her fans – including Lizzo. Lizzo sent Cardi flowers. We love a genuine friendship. ❤️ — Fan Account | #BLM (@BardiUpdatess) September 16, 2020 Cardi B. is powerful!! In every way! Mind and heart. And she needs a partner that embraces that, is in awe of that, cherishes that, is in reverence of that, and delights in that. — Bolu Babalola (@BeeBabs) September 15, 2020 I'm not surprised cardi B is divorceing offset. She's sitting with presidential candidates & looking to make change. He's been cheating on her since day one. She just outgrew him. — 🇯🇲 Quinn 🙏🏿🏁🐍 (@Quinn510_) September 16, 2020 It’s so sad to watch so many people talking down on Cardi B as if she is the one in the wrong. Like I always say, celebrity women get cheated on bc these men are jealous of them in their stardom & are trying to publicly humiliate them to make themselves feel confident. — ABM (@imani_yvonne2) September 16, 2020 How do you feel about Cardi B’s and Offset’s divorce? Will the divorce be as friendly as Cardi B hopes?

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