Twitter (TWTR.N) said on Friday that it had suspended hundreds of accounts endorsing Philippines presidential election candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr, alleging that they had broken spam and manipulation rules.
Veteran politician Marcos, 64, the son of the late dictator deposed in a “people power” revolution in 1986, has emerged as the front-runner ahead of the May election.
Twitter said it suspended more than 300 accounts and hashtags based on both human inspection and technology, and that its investigations were ongoing.
“We stay attentive in detecting and deleting suspected election-related information operations,” a Twitter spokeswoman stated.
Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ chief of staff, praised Twitter for its efforts but cautioned that there was no guarantee that all of the accounts belonged to Marcos loyalists.
“We applaud Twitter for keeping a close eye on platform manipulation, spam, and other attempts to harm public discourse,” he added in a statement.
The Marcos family has remained one of the wealthiest and most powerful forces in Philippine politics, having served as senators, lower house members, and provincial governors during the last three decades.
Despite the fact that Marcos Jr., often known as “Bongbong,” has significant opponents in the political establishment, he has a large following at home and abroad among Filipinos who are heavy users of social media.
According to some analysts, this usage has made political discourse in the Philippines vulnerable to manipulation via social media.
Twitter announced on Monday that it will expand a test tool that allows users to identify false information to the Philippines, Brazil, and Spain.
This week, the news site Rappler revealed that Marcos fans were attempting to conquer Twitter by creating accounts in a matter of months. Twitter acknowledged the claim and stated that the bulk of the 300 accounts had been removed previously as part of standard procedures.
Twitter stated that publishing political information or organizing people to do so through hashtags was allowed under its terms, unless accounts were inauthentic, automated, or paid for, but it found “no clear evidence” of this.