You might want to check the pages you’ve followed way back when because they might look slightly different.
This month, some eagle-eyed netizens spotted a couple of political pages on Facebook which, as it turns out, didn’t start out as such. Upon digging through these pages’ history, these netizens discovered that Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte’s Facebook page, which has more than 170,000 likes as of this writing, was formerly a fan page for GMA celebrity Jake Vargas. It was created last 2011 and was then undressed around 2016 to don the politician’s name.
Then, following the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise, some of the network’s top talents such as Bea Alonzo, Angel Locsin, and Maja Salvador voiced their concern about certain individuals reaching out to the owners of their public fan pages to supposedly buy it from them. Through screenshots of their conversation with the pages’ owners, these celebrities revealed how the latter has received offers to buy these fan accounts on Facebook and Instagram, which has amassed more than a million followers in total.
While these people didn’t disclose their reasons, the timing of their inquiries is enough to raise eyebrows.
Twitter wasn’t spared. Though on a much smaller scale, Twitter users still can’t help but be disturbed by the fact that the official Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA Twitter account has been hijacked by Banat By, a blogger who is also one of the co-administrators of Mocha Uson’s blog on Facebook. To verify the undue takeover, Twitter users dug up the account and saw that tweets posted by @MochaUson now showed that they had been posted by @BanatByOfficial.
Some Twitter users who were following the government agency’s official account for legitimate news felt irate for being misled, and this caused the same to mass-report the Twitter account.
While the account only sounded off to around 200,000 followers, numbers aren’t the point. The point is that there is now a group of people who are highly motivated – and with the readiness to purchase multiple pages, generously financed as well – and are willing to turn people’s avenues of interest into a medium of misleading propaganda behind their backs.
From being imitated by several fake copycat accounts to being deceived by fan pages, we’re really left with no choice but to be more vigilant about what we post and who to follow.
One thing’s for sure though: fans of Jake Vargas aren’t amused.