Washington Post “report” by Regine Cabato claiming Twitter suspended pro-Duterte accounts is MISLEADING

A Washington Post article authored by Philippine correspondent Regine Cabato claiming that “Twitter suspends accounts defending Philippine government response to coronavirus pandemic” seems to have been either taken down or has since been buried. The article was widely shared over social media yesterday. Opposition “thought leader” and self-described “social media expert” Noemi Dado, in a tweet on the 9th of April, shared screenshots of the report text together with what seems to be a link to the original page where the article was posted. However, clicking on the link just leads to a generic list of Post articles related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The article quoted Dado as a reference to support the assertion that pro-administration “trolls” were behind a campaign to “trend” hashtags like “#IstandWithDuterte” which Opposition partisans and Cabato claim were part of an “orchestrated” campaign “defending the response of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s government to the coronavirus pandemic”.

“Trolls [and] supporters are mostly reactive to the organic display of criticism,” said Noemi Dado, a blogger and member of the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation. “Duterte is supposed to have a high satisfaction rating… so the trolls must make it look like Duterte is loved.”

In the same seemingly-missing Washington Post “report”, Cabato also claims, “[since] Duterte was elected president in 2016, online political support in the Philippines has been largely manufactured. Politicians, through public relations strategists, tap ‘trolls’ to create multiple accounts to foster an illusion of support and sway public opinion”.

We reached out to Noemi Dado for comment but had not heard from her as of this writing.

GMA News Online also ran the story on Regine Cabato’s mysterious “report”. They report, however, that, beyond the Washington Post, there seems to be no other source to verify whether or not all that Cabato writes and Dado claims is actually true.

Sought for confirmation and comment, Twitter said it was the Washington Post which first reached out and there was nothing further it could share on record.

For her part, Cabato also took to Twitter to defend herself and her so-called “report” insisting that the article remains online and quotes the same misleading link Dado shared earlier. According to Cabato, the “report” is “part of a live feed, short dispatches on COVID worldwide, which is why you have to scroll down and why it’s not on my byline page.”

Twitter, like most social media sites, attests to its precise moderation guidelines that are, for the most part, agnostic to users’ partisan loyalties. As such, there is evidently no basis in Cabato’s claims that the accounts in question were suspended because they were “defending Philippine government response to coronavirus pandemic”. To suggest so is, therefore, misleading and does not help the already embattled “journalism” profession which increasingly struggles for relevance and suffers an acute crisis of credibility.

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5 Comments on “Washington Post “report” by Regine Cabato claiming Twitter suspended pro-Duterte accounts is MISLEADING”

  1. That is the tactic of the Aquino Cojuangco/ Oligarchs/ CPP-NPA Blogsites….They report you , that you have violated some rules in blogging, so that you cannot tweet, blog on their websites, or comment on the Facebook.

    Noemi Lardizabal Dado is the WebMaster of the “Blog Watch”…she is a disinformation advocate of the Aquino Cojuango political axis, the oligarchs, the leftist front organizations and the CPP/ NPA alliance…

    Ms. Dado still advocates the Aquino disinformation era of : the heroism of Ninoy Aquino; the sainthood of Cory Aquino; and the disinformations given to people about the “plague of Marcos Martial Law”…She is also an ardent supporter of the fake Vice President Lugaw Robredo…She also supports the 2016 COMELEC HOCUS PCOS and SMARTSWITIK election results, manipulated by the crook: Andres Bautista, who is now a TNT in the U.S.

    I once blog in her WebSite: “Blog Watch”; the next thing that she did was: she blocked me. ..And, my Twitter account was suspended, because I was alledfedly violating some twitter rules…

    Noemi Dado is a bitch…she will do anything to silence those who are against her and her political agendas…Aquino Cojuangco political axis tactic !

  2. Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation? Another made up group to give them a semblance of credibility. Wouldn’t be surprised if that blogger was just recruited to be a dilawan influencer just because she already had some following from her mommy blogging.

  3. Im not sure whats so misleading about the article sir, twitter has machine learning algorithms that detect troll like behavior and after proper review the “guilty” get the banhammer. That the identified trolls promoted pro duterte messages is very news worthy indeed, no? Unless you still cling to the belief that the dutertards do not operate professional troll farms (of course the yellowtards have their own but in this case it was the pro duterte that were caught) or unless you believe that twitter itself is yellow.

  4. Looks like Filipino-hired content moderators are trigger happy, aren’t they? Or told to erase certain content and account according to ordered requirements – who knows who paid for those requirements to be imposed.

    1. You really believe a multi billion dollar silicon valley company can be ordered around by special interest groups in the philippines?

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