Philippines Report

MSNBC puts Facebook, Zuckerberg under scrutiny in report about Duterte, fake news

MSNBC anchor Ari Melber put Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg under scrutiny in a report that focused on how the social media network and fake news played a role in the successful election campaigns of US President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte.

Melber indicated that Facebook became a powerful instrument for Duterte to win the May 2016 elections.

“Facebook is a global company, and it was ground zero for this Putin-Duterte playbook long before Zuckerberg was playing naive about fake news after November, and repeating their mantra, ‘they’re just neutral.’ In fact, there was a whole scandal in that country, the Philippines, over fake news and bots in their election which was — wait for it — held in may 2016,” Melber said.

Melber said Facebook had sent employees who held “training sessions” with candidates, including Duterte.

“Giving tips to a few campaigns in a constitutional democracy can be different in giving tips to this authoritarian Duterte. Facebook learned that quickly. In fact, after his team got that Facebook briefing, his allies went into overdrive, pushing fake news and accounts along with his other wider campaigns,” Melber said.

He mentioned that a fake news saying Pope Francis had endorsed Duterte also spread during the campaign period.

Melber also said there were fake news before which said Pope Francis also endorsed United States President Donald Trump.

“If you get a pope endorsement, you are the fake news candidate,” Melber said.

Zuckerberg had maintained in previous interviews that Facebook's business was not all about profit.

“I don't want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy. That's not what we stand for. The integrity of our elections is fundamental to democracy around the world,” Zuckerberg said. — GMA News

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