Facebook & Twitter Unveils “Online-Libel-Proof” Features for Filipino Netizens

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter announced today that they are set to roll out new features specifically for Philippine netizens that would help them combat or avoid online libel.

FB

Click to enlarge.

“When someone in the Philippines tries to type a possible libelous status update, Facebook algorithms detects this and suggests alternative posts that a user might want to consider,” Facebook wrote in a recent addition to its help page.

According to the help page, Facebook suggestions will try to stay as relevant as possible with the message that you’re trying to convey, but will sometimes deviate or rephrase your status update entirely if what you’re trying to say is really-really libelous.

This would be the first time that the social networking giant made a feature specifically for a country.

“We decided to add this feature so as to protect our users against tyrannical, oppressive and backward-thinking politicians in the Philippines,” said Facebook CEO Mark Suckerberg.

He added, “When political image and vanity of elected officials trumps freedom of expression of the masses, you know that something is wrong in a country that prides itself of so-called democracy.”

The newly announced feature is still being rolled out, so it’s not available to everyone just yet. Facebook tests features in stages so that an unforeseen bug doesn’t hit its entire network at once, but it should be widely available to Philippine netizens in the next few weeks.

Coincidentally, Twitter also announced that it is set to roll-out new features to make Filipinos’ tweets “online-libel-proof”.

twitterIn a tweet posted this morning, the microblogging service revealed that new features will roll out on the 25th that will “suppress freedom of expression” for Filipino Twitter users.  It ended its tweet with the hashtag #Ironic because the country will also celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution on the same day.

Netizens should expect the following features when they compose a tweet on Tuesday:

  1. The “Twitter Sarcasm Font” – A special font that will replace the default one when the servers detect a hint of sarcasm in a person’s tweet. It will automatically replace the typeface before posting it to your timeline. To be extra sure, the sarcastic word will have a different font and will be boldfaced.

    A tweet with sarcasm font enabled.

    A tweet with sarcasm font enabled.

  2. The “Twitter Auto-Rephraser” – This new feature would rephrase your libelous tweet into a non-libelous tweet. If your original tweet’s intention was to malign someone specifically, the rephrased version won’t. Although less hard-hitting, the rephrased version will hopefully save you the time and money not defending yourself in court.

    bong

    Left: A tweet without Auto-Rephraser. Right: Auto-Rephraser in action.

  3. The Automatic “With All Due Respect” Hashtag Inserter – As the name implies, Twitter will automatically insert a #WithAllDueRespect hashtag at the beginning of your tweets so as to remove any malicious intent that your thoughts might have against our elected officials. noy

No word yet whether other social networking sites like Instagram and Tumblr would follow suit in adding features to protect netizens’ freedom of speech. Stay tuned.

33 thoughts on “Facebook & Twitter Unveils “Online-Libel-Proof” Features for Filipino Netizens

    • In the Philippines, corrupt government officials are trying to stop the people from expressing its sentiments against graft and corruption and other immoral acts by making a law to oppress the freedom of speech of Filipino citizens as Guaranteed by the Constitution.

  1. nice article esp the “We decided to add this feature so as to protect our users against tyrannical, oppressive and backward-thinking politicians in the Philippines,” said Facebook CEO Mark Suckerberg.
    He added, “When political image and vanity of elected officials trumps freedom of expression of the masses, you know that something is wrong in a country that prides itself of so-called democracy.”

  2. Bwa ha ha! Ang nakakatawa/nakakaiyak talaga ay yung batas na nagiging katatawanan dahil malayo na sa realidad pero kapag tinamaan ka ng epekto nung batas ay mapapaiyak ka! Bwa ha ha!

  3. Amen! Thanks for helping us in our sovierenty from this rich bullying country which happen to be our neighbor in Asia, hope the world will act as a police to preserve bounderies in asia and the world. Godbless!

  4. That is curtailing freedom of expression? The question is how these politicians got into the head of Mark Zuckerberg and Tweeter? Did they use the Global Collateral Accounts Marcos set up for Filipino people to carry their weight around? Mukhang parang may ginamit na malaking inpluwensiya. Sila lang ang nakikinabang! Naku dapat tigilan na yang celebrasyon ng Edsa Revolution na iyan. CIA at Vatican inspired iyan para ma-control ang Global Collateral Accounts sinet-up ni Marcos. Ano ang nagyari sa atin, yumaman ang buong mundo except tayo dahil sa ginto natin. Gumising na kayo at alamin niyo ang katotohanan.

  5. I think Suckerberg is already libelous is this intentional? It should be Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg not Facebook CEO Mark Suckerberg. Who wrote this and I will punch your face right away!

  6. Good. That Facebook had the power to correct what is obviously wrong ….somebody using the powerful name forr their own obvious personal opinion…..love Facebook….but have seen distortions and disturbing untruth….its still is Gigo…..garbage in and garbage out…..trust your sources…….this is a relief for a major aches and pain

  7. Pingback: Facebook & Twitter Unveil “Online-Libel-Proof” Features for Filipino Netizens | The Boracay Crown Beach Hotel

  8. Pls take note of “sarcastic, libelous, words ” w/c the Philippine gov’t is trying to addressed in imposing the Cybercrime Law. You can express anything you want in a right ways.

  9. the government is just trying to protect us from people like us! I will be more impress if Twitter and Facebook collaborate with the Government of the Philippines to make a revised law that both objective and right. The government is trying really hard to revise the law to protect us!!! to protect us!!! period. We always try to say that they are close minded and we are open, maybe it’s the other way around?

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