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De Lima slams Mark Zukerberg for refusing to take down fake news against her on Facebook

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Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday slammed Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg for turning a deaf ear on her numerous appeal to take down the fake news against her by paid trolls and hackers.

“It has been a year since I last wrote a letter to Facebook expressing my concern over the continued proliferation of fake news that has been populating our social media, notably Facebook, but the letter remained –unanswered and unacted,” she said.

The detained senator who has been targeted by fake news in the past, said the owners of the online social media networking service should exercise some responsibility for the content and posts it allows to be disseminated and shared on its platform.

“As the world’s most-used and largest social network, the people behind Facebook should take disinformation seriously, considering that not everyone is well-versed about the distinction between fake news, propaganda, satire and fiction,” she said.

As early as Jan. 2017, or a month before she was ordered arrested for alleged drug links, de Lima sent a letter to Facebook Philippines Country Director Digs Dimagiba complaining about the continued re-distribution of fake news stories and clips about her which were obviously meant to mislead the public and besmirch her reputation.

Attached in her letter was a long list of fake news distributed on Facebook such as reports that she alleged to have stepped down as senator, her purported purchase of a $6-million mansion in New York, her hospitalization due to an alleged secret suicide and that of the United Kingdom congratulating the Senate for ousting her.

She also expressed concerns about the existence of what she claimed as “shadowy people” maintaining questionable accounts to deliberately tarnish the name of some respectable people through the distribution of disinformation disguised as legitimate news stories.

“These fake news stories have also mutated into fake videos and audio clips that have been recklessly shared and re-shared,” De Lima said.

“Unfortunately, some of these have found their ways into our mainstream news media and consequently, confused the public between real and fake news,” she added.

The senator urged Facebook to find creative and innovative ways and means to end the malicious propagation of fake news stories and stop their continued re-distribution, especially by paid trolls and hackers.

“These fake news stories are negatively affecting our national discourse and public opinion. The continued distribution of false stories has also become a tool for power-hungry public officials to feed the public with poison and lies to propel their political career to greater heights,” she said.