Facebook kicks out Filipino Channel Online, Trending News Portal, 314 other accounts for spamming
By Consuelo Marquez
INQUIRER.net
January 11, 2019 at 2:11 pm

MANILA, Philippines — Twinmark Media Enterprises, the digital marketing company behind the popular pages Filipino Channel Online and Trending News Portal, was banned from Facebook for violating ‘misrepresentation and spam policies’, a Facebook official said.

“We are banning Twinmark Media Enterprises from the platform. We took this action because the organization has repeatedly violated our misrepresentation policies and also our spam policies so to be specific, we see them engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of Cybersecurity Policy, told reporters in a video interview on Friday.

Twinmark Media Enterprises is a “youth-oriented digital company” based in Quezon City.

The social media giant removed 220 Facebook pages and 73 Facebook and 23 Instagram accounts that are subsidiaries of Twinmark.

Some of the Facebook pages under Twinmark are: Filipino Channel Online (10.4 million followers); Gorgeous Me (5.7 million followers); Unhappy (4.9 million followers); Text Message (4.4 million followers); and Trending News Portal Media (4.3 million followers).

“We see clusters of accounts and pages that are working together and are particular fake accounts to deceive people,” Gleicher added.

Gleicher also revealed that Twinmark also used Facebook pages for profit.

“This organization has been selling access to Facebook pages to artificially increase the distribution of those pages and to generate profit,” he said.

Gleicher said their specific investigation on Twinmark’s behavior began in November 2018.

Facebook’s shut down of Twinmark Facebook page and its subsidiaries began this Friday.

Gleicher also reiterated that the decision to remove the organization from Facebook was not due to the type of content they were posting but because they violated the misrepresentation and spam policies.

“We are very careful when we conduct these takedowns. We have the ability to see behavior of these platform, obviously when you have an investigation it is clear that there is a financial motive involved we don’t analyze beyond the content, what we focus on is the behavior,” he said.

Gleicher said they also notified Twinmark after Facebook removed the enterprise from its media platform.

“We notified Twinmark today when we removed the accounts they have not engaged with us yet but they just learned about it,” he said.

Gleicher added Facebook will let the Philippine government apprehend the banned Facebook pages as he also notified the Department of Information and Communications Technology of the incident.

“We are not going to suggest or recommend an action determining if there are other steps that should be taken that the government would do. We really are focused on removing the violating content from our platform,” he said.

Facebook said about 43 million accounts followed at least one of the banned Facebook pages./gsg

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