PH authorities begin investigation as Facebook starts to weed out dummy accounts

Marje Pelayo

MANILA, Philippines — Social media giant Facebook has started deleting fake and dummy accounts, according to National Privacy Commission (NPC) Commissioner Raymund Liboro. 

Liboro said there is no clear report yet as to the creator of the impostor accounts but they have been receiving reports from different sectors, mostly coming from academic institutions.

He added that Facebook vows to track the perpetrators and execute appropriate actions against them.

Masyado pang maaga upang matunton ang pinanggalingan nito. Pero alam mo yung — cloning at dummy account iyan ay parte ng mga hinaharap ng Facebook at maging nitong mga subscriber ng Facebook kaya naman may sistema na sila para i-correct iyan at baguhin iyan,” the Privacy Commissioner said. 

[It is still early to determine where this originated. But you know, this cloning and dummy accounts are part of what Facebook has to face and even Facebook subscribers, that is why a system in place to rectify and change them.]

The proliferation of fake Facebook accounts was first reported by the University of the Philippines (UP) which later on, affected other schools and the general public as netizens uploaded screenshots of fake accounts warning friends against suspicious activity surrounding the platform. 

The agency encourages users to report to Facebook should their account be faked. 

READ: Facebook investigates surge of fake accounts in PH

Meanwhile, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Cybercrime Division Chief Atty. Victor Lorenzo said they are still waiting for the Facebook management to share their initial findings on said suspicious activity on its platform. 

Lorenzo said it is important to establish first the timeline of the duplication of accounts and to determine if the said activity targeted a certain sector or group in the country. 

The NBI is also looking into a possible error or systems glitch on the part of Facebook.

Lorenzo said they have received reports of accounts being duplicated up to 12 times.

“System glitch or talagang merong concerted effort ang mga individual to create fake accounts, iyong objective niyan ay hindi pa natin ma-establish hanggang ngayon,” he explained. 

[Whether it is system glitch or a concerted effort of certain individuals to create fake accounts, we cannot it establish for now.]

The NBI reminds the public to keep a screenshot of the dummy account to be used as evidence for investigation. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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