Is Facebook complicit in helping oppressive regimes silence their critics?

Is Facebook complicit in helping oppressive regimes silence their critics?

If you’re not familiar with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, he is a controversial figure to say the least. During his campaign for the Presidency, Duterte was refereed to by American media as the Donald Trump of the Philippines for his boisterous ways and outspoken manner, however, Duterte has long since surpassed President Trump in terms of controversy.

After taking office, President Duerete declared a war on drugs in the Philippines and has allegedly used it as an excuse to order the police executions of thousands of so-called offenders. No arrests, no trials, only death. He has been harshly criticized not only on the world stage for alleged human rights abuses but by some media outlets in the Philippines as well. Considering the Philippines has a history of journalists being assassinated, this is a pretty big deal.

One of these outlets is known as Rappler and they have been critical of President Duterte’s treatment of the people being executed by police. Instead of using any kind of violent force against them, Duterte’s administration is accused of allegedly using a campaign of misinformation against Rappler which led to government taking away Rappler’s license.

And where was this misinformation campaign waged? On Facebook of course. Considering Facebook has an office in Manila and has partnered with the Duterte administration on a high-speed internet project this really should come as no shock.

Sadly, this is just another example of how much power Facebook wields in the geopolitical stage. Facebook has the potential to literally topple regimes or silence the opposition to such oppressors with just a few clicks of a mouse or swipe of a touchscreen. Should one company hold this much power on such a global scale?