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Twitter Suspends Accounts Promoting Marcos in the Philippines

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Twitter has suspended several hundred accounts reportedly associated with Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who is running for president in the Philippines. Twitter Inc. said the accounts violated its policies on manipulation and spam.

Marcos Jr. the namesake of the Philippine’s former brutal dictator has drawn support from a massive social media campaign seeking to get him elected in May.

However, critics and former victims of his father’s dictatorship believe he is attempting to rewrite the family’s history.

According to a recent article by Philippine news site Rappler, Twitter reviewed the accounts and hashtags identified in that article.

Twitter said more than 300 accounts had been suspended “for violating our platform manipulation and spam policies,” according to a statement released on Saturday.

An investigation was ongoing and most of them had been taken down before the Rappler article was published on Tuesday, according to the report.

Twitter and Facebook dominate in the Philippines

The Philippines along with Thailand are the world’s largest social media users. Twitter and especially Facebook in the Philippines have become a key battleground for fake news.

The Philippine elections are taking place this May, and Twitter is vigilant about identifying and removing suspected information campaigns that target election conversations.

According to Marcos Jr.’s spokesman Vic Rodriguez, it was not certain that all the suspended accounts belonged to his supporters.

After the humiliating downfall of Marcos Sr. in 1986, the family was chased into exile in the United States, but a Marcos Jr. win would mark a political comeback.

Ferdinand Marcos Sr and his wife Imelda were accused of massive corruption while in power from 1966 to his downfall in 1986. Marcos fled the country on February 25, 1986, at the urging of the United States.
Marcos and his wife were both indicted by the U.S. government on racketeering charges. However, in 1990, after Marcos’s death, Imelda was found not guilty by a federal court.

Marcos Jr supporters “looking to dominate social media”

In 1991, she returned to the Philippines and in 1993, she was convicted of corruption (the conviction was overturned in 1998).

In October, Marcos Jr supporters began “looking to dominate Twitter.” Many of the accounts Rappler investigated were created just before Marcos announced his presidential bid in October 2021.

The accounts tended to promote the narrative that the Marcoses were “victims” of the 1986 rebellion, and their return to the presidential palace was “long overdue”, according to the Rappler.

Twitter stated that sharing political content on an account or rallying people to do so through hashtags is allowed, “unless the accounts are inauthentic, compensated or automated, which we do not see as being the case here.”

On Monday, Twitter announced it was expanding a test feature that will let users in Brazil, Spain, and the Philippines report misleading content.

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