Facebook says sorry for ‘putting’ Philippines in state of war


MANILA: Facebook says that in an attempt to connect Filipinos on Independence Day, it made a mistake: “This was unintentional, and we’re sorry."

Facebook has placed the Philippines on  ”war footing”—but the social media giant says it’s all a mistake.

“Happy Independence Day!” said Facebook in a greeting Sunday as the country celebrated its 118th Independence Day.

But the graphic message posted on the newsfeed of Filipino Facebook users had the Philippine flag shown upside-down, wrongfully signifying the country was in a state of war.

“This was unintentional, and we’re sorry,” Facebook said about the error that ignited pointed  commentaries in a still politically polarized country.

“We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and, in an attempt to connect people on Independence day, we made a mistake,” its  spokesperson said in a statement sent to media.

The Philippines has about 52 million active Facebook users.

It was not the first time the Philippine flag was shown wrongly.

In June 2015, Filipino sprinters Eric Shawn and Kayla Richardson gained national attention not only for bagging gold at the Southeast Asian Games but also for wearing a uniform with an inverted Philippine flag.

In a meeting hosted by US President Barack Obama  and attended by President Benigno Aquino III in September 2010, the Philippine flag was hoisted with the red color at the  top, prompting an embarrassed US to quickly apologize for the gaffe.

For many countries, including the US and the United Kingdom, a flag flown upside down indicates a state of distress. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

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