AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay. (File photo)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday said it is sparing no effort to curb terrorist activities and propaganda on social media.

“The AFP shall ensure that terrorists will not be able to use social media as means to advance the ends of terrorism, recruit new members, and generate financial support,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay said in a press statement.

Gapay's assurance came following the first in a series of virtual training by the military with social media giant Facebook on Friday.

Over 60 participants including social media managers and information personnel from various AFP units and offices nationwide attended the event. They were trained about Facebook’s community standards and law enforcement policies.

“The AFP views Facebook along with other social networking sites as platforms to disseminate accurate information that would empower our people to see through the lies, and reject terrorist organizations masquerading as pro-people,” Gapay said.

He added that Facebook could be the medium that will help consolidate the peoples’ support to the AFP whose mandate is to protect and defend the state against various threats to peace and security.

“The AFP looks forward to conducting more training with Facebook to better equip its personnel in honing the strengths of social media as a platform to push forward the government’s national development campaigns,” Gapay said.

Speakers in the two-hour webinar Jan Edward Lim, Content Policy Manager, and Rob Abrams, Law Enforcement Outreach Manager. Also present were Clare Amador, Head of Public Policy; Chris Kuzhuppilly, Public Policy Manager; and Bhume Bhumiratana, Cybersecurity Policy Manager.

Leading the participants from the military was AFP public affairs office Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata. Amador and Kuzhuppilly are from Facebook Philippines while Abrams, Lim, and Bhumiratana are from Facebook Asia Pacific.

Lim, who discussed the social network’s community standards, said the core of developing their policy is anchored on authenticity, voice, safety, privacy, and dignity.

These are the same concepts being advocated by the military through its AFP Social Media Use and Policy published in November 2016.

This letter directive sets the general and specific policies for both the institution as well as the personal utilization of social media platforms by the AFP and its personnel.

Also discussed in the webinar was Facebook’s thrust toward preventing the presence of violent extremists on Facebook.

So far, Facebook, which is part of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, said it has taken down 8.7 million posts related to terrorist propaganda, support, recruitment, and attack planning. (PNA)