MANILA: Twitter has suspended hundreds of accounts reportedly linked to supporters of Philippine presidential frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr, which the social media giant said had violated its rules on manipulation and spam.
The son and namesake of the country’s former dictator is drawing support from a massive social media campaign seeking to get him elected in May, which critics say is attempting to rewrite the family’s history.
Twitter said it had reviewed the accounts and hashtags identified in a recent article by Philippine news site Rappler. More than 300 accounts had been removed “for violating our platform manipulation and spam policy,” Twitter said in a statement sent to AFP Saturday.
Most of them had been taken down before the Rappler article was published on Tuesday and an investigation was ongoing, it said. Filipinos are among the world’s heaviest users of social media and the country has become a key battleground for fake news.
“With the Philippine elections taking place this May, we remain vigilant about identifying and eliminating suspected information campaigns targeting election conversations,” Twitter said. Marcos Jr’s spokesman Vic Rodriguez said there was “no certainty” that all the suspended accounts belonged to supporters of the presidential hopeful.
Election victory for Marcos Jr would mark the ultimate political comeback for the family, which was chased into exile in the United States after its patriarch’s humiliating downfall in 1986.