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Philippines versus Facebook brawl exposes China's sharp power

President Duterte has openly accused the social media giant of censorship

| Philippines
Duterte lashed out at Facebook's latest crackdown for supposedly "promoting the cause of the rebellion."    © Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division/AP

Richard Heydarian is an Asia-based academic, columnist and author of "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy" and the "The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Mastery."

Throughout the years, Facebook has served as the unwitting enabler of populists and right-wing elements across the world. The social media company has provided a free-for-all platform that has become synonymous with disinformation and discord, empowering fringe and anti-establishment figures in troubled democracies.

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