Sony Coloma responded to Chanco’s column. Here’s a snippet:
Our main concern was about the real possibility of confusion arising from official-looking postings that are actually not the official position of the President, but could have been made to appear official because an administrator posted it.
Evidently, Facebook management – after monitoring developments for almost three months – realized that indeed the continued co-existence of both the President’s official website and the campaign Facebook page may have sown confusion, thereby prompting its eventual decision to disable the campaign website.
It is also not true that the PCOO New Media Team screens out or censors negative comments. Anyone may visit the President’s website anytime and find out indeed negative comments are posted. During the aftermath of the Aug.23 hostage crisis, the President’s website was virtually deluged with negative comments. None of these were censored. Only the use of cuss words and profanity was curtailed, also in accordance with Facebook management policy.
Ben Totanes responded:
Going back to the reaction of Sec. Coloma to Boo Chanco’s column, there are several items I would like to clarify:
1. Sec. Coloma made it sound like Facebook was the one who initiated the disabling of BSAIII, while in fact the PCOO was the one who requested it, and Facebook just acted upon that request.
2. He also cited the following Facebook policy: “There is another policy of Facebook management which states clearly, ‘If you would like to create a Facebook presence for a celebrity or organization, and you are not officially authorized to do so, please create a Facebook group instead, as this may be created and maintained by any user.’ “
He seems to conveniently forget that BSAIII became the official campaign page for then Sen. Aquino. It was authenticated by Facebook and it was used by the campaign as the official Facebook page. It was even presented by PNoy himself on a few press conferences during the campaign. So why then would Sec. Coloma imply that I should have started a Facebook Group instead, when all Facebook policies were satisfied during that time as I was authorized to do so?
3. Lastly, contrary to Sec. Coloma’s statement, I did offer BSAIII back to Sec. Coloma’s office with one of the conditions being the comments made by the people should not be censored. In fact, my exact words to his people were: “We should not control or delete any type of opinion coming from the people. I would like them to be left on the wall or on the blog, as long as the comment/opinion is constructive and not lewd or derogatory”.
It is interesting to note that the PCOO probably committed the biggest human rights violation in cyber history, and at the very least, created an international incident by dispersing 2.2 million people living in different countries across the globe. I’m not just talking about Filipinos in the Philippines here. In October 9, 2010, BSAIII had 1.7M members living in the Philippines, 86K in the U.S., 37K in Saudi Arabia, 28K in UAE, 22K in Canada, 11K in the UK and rest scattered in many other countries. How fast can you say American Civil Liberties Union?