Meta removes Facebook accounts to tackle misinformation ahead of Philippines polls


FILE PHOTO: Woman holds smartphone with Meta logo in front of a displayed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/

(Reuters) - Meta Platforms Inc on Wednesday suspended a network of over 400 accounts, pages and groups ahead of general elections in the Philippines as the Facebook parent moves to crack down hate speech and misinformation.

Concerns about online hate speech have increased as candidates and supporters increasingly turn to social media for the May 9 election against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic disrupting traditional campaign methods.

Last month, the country's presidential candidates had pressed on the need to hold social media companies liable for the spread of misinformation.

Meta said in a blog post on Wednesday that advertisers in the Philippines will have to complete its ad authorizations process and include 'Paid for by' disclaimers on ads about elections, politics and certain categories of social issues.

The move by Meta comes after it last month changed its stance in Ukraine that temporarily allowed calls for violence and narrowed its content moderation policy to prohibit calls for the death of a head of state.

(This story corrects to remove reference to Philippines NPA in relation to suspended accounts).

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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