Inquirer.net : ‘Pinadudumi ang politika:’ Sotto wants FB to shut down ‘troll farms’ until after 2022 polls

News & Interviews
21 June 2021

By Christia Marie Ramos | Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday expressed concerns over troll farms, saying social media giant Facebook should shut them down “until after the elections” in 2022.

“Nakakabahala ‘yun (troll farms) sapagkat pinadudumi nila ang politika sa Pilipinas. ‘Di bale sana kung totoo yung sasabihin ng mga yun e siguradong hindi e,” Sotto said in an online interview with reporters.

(It’s alarming because they’re making politics in the Philippines dirty. Never mind if what they’re saying is true, but of course, they’re not.)

“Kung walang ginawa kung hindi manira, aba’y siguro shut it down until after the elections. After the elections, maglaro sila kung gusto nila,” he added.

(If they have nothing better to do but to defame other people, it’s better that they be shut down until after the elections. After the elections, they can play all they want.)

Sotto said Facebook has the ability to control such “troll farms” due to the social media platform’s monitoring capabilities.

“Kaya nila yun e, kaya nila. Makikita naman nila e. I have talked to one of the officers of Facebook in the Philippines, sabi nga nila, kaya nilang gawin yun e,” Sotto recalled.

(They can do that, they can. They are able to monitor it. I have talked to one of the officers of Facebook in the Philippines who said before that they can do it.)

“Nung araw yung mga duwag tahimik lang pero ito ang lalakas ng loob kasi hindi sila nakikita, nasa likod ng computer,” he added.

(Before, cowards stay silent but now these people have the guts because their identities are hidden, they’re behind a computer.)

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier bared that an undersecretary has allegedly started organizing at least two troll farms in every province to discredit critics of the administration and possible opponents in the 2022 elections.

Sotto, who is considering joining the vice presidential race in 2022, advised the Filipino people to be vigilant and watch out for false information spreading on social media.

“Hopefully, ang mga kababayan natin will sift through the rubble so to speak. Sana alam nila kung alin yung paninira lamang at hindi,” he said.

(Hopefully, our people will sift through the rubble so to speak. I hope they will know what is true and what is just a form of defamation.)