AFP Chief assures all-out effort against terrorism in Social Media

by Warren Ryan Revoltar

The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Gilbert Gapay on Friday assured the public of the military’s all-out effort to curb terroristic activities and propaganda in social media.

“The AFP shall ensure that terrorists will not be able to use social media as means to advance the ends of terrorism, recruit new members, and generate financial support,” said General Gapay.

His statement came following the first in a series of virtual training conducted by the military with social media giant Facebook, on Friday. There were over 60 participants that included social media managers and information personnel from various AFP units and offices nationwide. They were trained about Facebook’s community standards and law enforcement policies.

The speakers in the two-hour webinar were Mr. Jan Edward Lim, Content Policy Manager, and Mr. Rob Abrams, Law Enforcement Outreach Manager. Also present were Ms. Clare Amador, Head of Public Policy; Mr. Chris Kuzhuppilly, Public Policy Manager; and Bhume Bhumiratana, Cybersecurity Policy Manager. Leading the participants from the AFP is Navy Captain Jonathan Zata, the Chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office.

Mr. Lim who discussed the social network’s community standards said the core of developing their policy is anchored on authenticity, voice, safety, privacy, and dignity. These are the same concepts being advocated by the military through its AFP Social Media Use and Policy published in November 2016. This letter directive sets the general and specific policies for both the institutional as well as the personal utilization of social media platforms by the AFP and its personnel.

Also discussed in the webinar was Facebook’s thrust towards preventing the presence of violent extremists on Facebook. While there remains propaganda, terrorism support, recruitment, and attack planning, Facebook which is part of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism said it has already taken down 8.7 million posts related to such activities.

“The AFP views Facebook along with other social networking sites as platforms to disseminate accurate information that would empower our people to see through the lies, and reject terrorist organizations masquerading as pro-people,” General Gapay said.

He added that Facebook could be the medium that will help consolidate the peoples’ support to the AFP whose mandate is to protect and defend the state against various threats to peace and security.

“The AFP looks forward to conducting more training with Facebook to better equip its personnel in honing the strengths of social media as a platform to push forward the government’s national development campaigns,” said the AFP Chief. — Armed Forces of the Philippines

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