Students, professors and journalists got a nasty surprise earlier this week: the sudden appearance of fake Facebook accounts under their names.
The dummy accounts, believed to be the work of the country’s overactive troll farms, were mostly empty—no pictures, no info, no posts.
Some students posted screenshots of their faceless Facebook clones sending them messages, chastising and threatening them for speaking up against the government.
“Mauubos din kayo lahat! May online-online protest ka pa noon!” one troll wrote.
“Isa ka pa mga terorista kayo… Mga bobo kayo pabigat sa gobyerno,” wrote another, clearly referencing the #JunkTerrorBill movement.
And yet another: “Hoy, utak NPA (New People’s Army)… Hindi ka pa ba natatakot… Rally ka pa ng rally ha.”
The hashtag #HandsOffOurStudents trended on Twitter as netizens shared information on how to combat the dummies by reporting them to Facebook, and schools and student organizations released statements about the presence of fake accounts.
“Death threats, clone accounts: Another day fighting trolls in the Philippines” read a headline in The Washington Post.
“Ang hinihingi natin mass testing hindi mass identity theft!” a Twitter user who calls herself M posted.
Multiple users tweeted: “We will not be silenced.”