Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.
— Nobel Prize awardee Albert Camus
A FEW days ago, the Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), denied any links to Facebook accounts that were taken down by the social media giant after it said they had engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” interfering in Asian and American politics.
According to Facebook, it had dismantled a network of fake accounts that originated from China and the Philippines, including some that posted content supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter’s ‘potential’ presidential run in the national elections set in 2022.
Despite this, the PNP and AFP disclosed in separate statements that their official Facebook pages remain active and that they were committed to the ‘truth’ and ‘cyber etiquette.’
Both organizations added that all comments and opinions of individual personnel, associations and sectoral groups on matters that are not related to their activities have been disowned as ‘unofficial’ and ‘unauthorized’.
In analyzing the issue at hand, the Facebook accounts taken down by Facebook may have been created by so-called trolls-those creating discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community. If so, then basically, these net users are purposely saying things controversial in order to get a rise out of other users.
But of all organizations, why the PNP and the AFP?
Aren’t these so-called trolls afraid of repercussions and the reaction that can be made by both agencies of government?
The PNP, and so with the military, have the capacity to trace whoever or wherever these accounts originate. Knowing this, it becomes a delicate matter and perilous for those who would try to besmirch both institutions—by pain of the law which penalizes such activities as theirs.
However, thinking deeply into this issue, why are these trolls unafraid to commit their critical activities? Do they think they can get away with their wrongdoings?
Our national police has a unit—the Anti-Cyber Crime Group based in Camp Rafael Crame in Quezon City—to tackle this concern, and come hell or high water, our law enforcers can go after this cyber criminals who hid behind their computer monitors in made-up names and disguised identities.
Truly scary, if you ask me: Nakakatakot banggain ang PNP at AFP!
But the recent report of Facebook taking down the ‘questionable’ accounts belie this.
So, we ask, who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf?