• Melo Acuna

AFP-Facebook Philippines meet for possible partnership vs terrorism

Armed Forces of the Philippines and Facebook talk about partnership vs terrorism online

MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. General Gilbert Gapay met with Facebook Head of Public Policy in the Philippines Clare Amador and discussed possible partnership in preventing terrorists’ exploitation of the internet.

According to a statement from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Ms. Amador and her team called on Lt. General Gapay as early as August to set a virtual courtesy call and share Facebook’s efforts worldwide to counter terrorism and in dealing with harmful content on the platform.

It was learned Facebook is a member of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) which was formed in 2017. It is a consortium of companies dedicated to disrupting terrorist abuse of members’ digital platforms.

General Gapay said they laud and express gratitude to the members of the GIFCT, including Facebook, for stepping up in its self-regulation initiatives that targets the dissemination of extremist propaganda, including photos and videos of terrorist violence.

“We likewise in the security sector shall extend any assistance as needed and our lines of cooperation shall always be open,” he said.

According to the AFP statement, the have been many documented cases of social media being used by terrorist groups as tool to advance their campaigns. The war against the Daesh in the Middle East and the country’s own experience in fighting terrorists in Marawi City proved the potential of social networks as conduit for the fast spread of violent extremism and terrorist propaganda.

Videos and images of execution incites fear and panic among the public as it increases the morale of terrorist elements and their sympathizers. Private messaging apps continue to be used as first line of communications followed by personally mediated and face-to- face meetings in recruitment and radicalization.

Facebook Philippines has partnered with other government agencies for child safety, education, human rights, elections, and law enforcement.They have previously met with officials from the Department of National Defense and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and discussed matters on counter-terrorism.(Melo M. Acu

Armed Forces of the Philippines' Chief of Staff Lt. General Gilbert Gapay (center) meets virtually with Facebook Philippines' Clare Amador and talked about possible partnrship vs terrorism. (Photos by TSg Randulf Obinque PAF and Diego Mariano/PAO-AFP)

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