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Maria Ressa vs Facebook

Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa has used her newfound popularity to attack Facebook, claiming that the social media giant fails to protect against the propagation of hate and disinformation and is prejudiced against facts.

Her remarks add to the recent backlash against Facebook, which is used by over 3 billion people and has been accused by a former employee turned whistleblower.

When asked about Ressa’s comments, a Facebook spokesperson said the company is continuing to invest heavily in removing and reducing the visibility of harmful content. 

Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 on Friday for “braving the wrath of the leaders of the Philippines and Russia to expose corruption and misrule,” according to the committee, in an endorsement of free speech under fire around the world.

“Yet it is biased against facts, it is biased against journalism,” Ressa said of Facebook, which has become the world’s largest distributor of news. “Beyond that, without facts, there is no shared reality, so you can’t solve existential problems like climate change or coronavirus.”

President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters have waged intense social-media hatred campaigns against Ressa, which she claims are aimed at destroying her and Rappler’s credibility.

According to 2021 studies by social media management firms, Filipinos spend the most time on social media. Platforms like Facebook have morphed into political battlegrounds, bolstering Duterte’s support base after playing a key role in his election victory in 2016 and his allies’ rout in mid-term elections last year. In May, the Philippines will hold elections to elect Duterte’s successor. who is not allowed to seek re-election under the constitution. According to Ressa, the campaign will be a “battle for facts.” “We will continue to ensure that our public is aware of the facts… We will not be bullied or intimidated into silence.”

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