MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Nobel Laureate and CEO of the least-trusted news brand in the Philippines, has not been coy about her desire to ”take back the Internet,” as if netizens who criticize her and Rappler have robbed her of her free speech, not to mention income from her business venture.
Maria Ressa is playing both sides of the coin by being critical of Facebook while keeping quiet about the popular social media platform’s recent crackdown on individual FB accounts, especially those that are unfriendly to the political opposition or who favor the Duterte administration and the candidacy of former Senator Bongbong Marcos. Many speculate that Rappler, one of Facebook’s fact-checking partners in the Philippines, is itself responsible for the adverse actions on netizens’ accounts.
In recent weeks, many netizens have complained that their accounts have been suspended, have received warnings, or have been penalized with degraded visibility of their posts because of supposed violation of FB’s community standards.
While Facebook gives account holders the option to disagree with its warnings or decisions, it does not allow them to explain why they disagree with the decision.
Recently, Facebook had admitted that its fact-checking activities are more grounded on opinion, rather than fact.
So, what gives?
Will Ressa eventually take the side of free speech which is the hallmark of her propaganda abroad that led the Nobel committee to give her the Peace Prize? Or will she remain quiet and bask in the glory and enjoyment of finally being able to get back at the Filipino netizens who have been critical of her and her wayward ways?