Facebook 'declares war' in Philippine flag gaffe

Facebook has apologised for declaring Philippines was in war, in what was meant to be a tribute for Independence Day.

Published: 14th June 2016 10:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2016 12:24 PM   |  A+A-

13434258_1039630756085444_1987538839_n
By AFP

MANILA: Facebook has apologised for accidentally declaring the Philippines was in a state of war, in what was meant to be an innocuous flag tribute for Independence Day.

The social media giant greeted Filipinos a "Happy Independence Day" on Sunday with a post showing a Philippine flag, but it was upside-down with red rather than blue at the top. In the Philippines this officially means the nation is at war.

Facebook, which routinely comes out with greetings to mark holidays around the world, apologised for the blunder.

"This was unintentional, and we’re sorry. We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and in an attempt to connect people on Independence Day, we made a mistake," Facebook said in a statement sent to AFP on Tuesday.

The blunder was greeted with a mix of anger and humour in the social media-obsessed country.

"Dear @facebook: It's not a happy Independence Day if our flag is like this. Like seriously," said Twitter user @econcepcion.

But activist Jonas Bagas jokingly linked the gaffe to president-elect Rodrigo Duterte's controversial planned law-and-crackdown that envisages security forces killing thousands of criminals.

"We will soon have shoot-to-kill orders and bounties to eradicate the scums that plague our timelines and our streets... Happy Independence Day, Philippines! What a curious state we are currently in," Bagas said in a Facebook post.

A nation of over 100 million, the Philippines has 51 million monthly active Facebook users, according to Facebook.

The social network is not the first to cause a stir over an inverted Philippine flag.

In 2010, the United States had to apologise for mixing up the red and blue fields of the Philippine flag during a New York meeting between President Barack Obama and Southeast Asian leaders.

Filipino-American athletes at last year's Southeast Asian Games had a wardrobe malfunction as they wore their vests with the Philippine flags upside-down.

Another sportsman, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, committed a similar blunder in 2013 when he carried an inverted Philippine flag before a game to campaign for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Others were not as well-meaning. In May this year, Philippine authorities detained Chinese crew members on the suspicion of poaching after their vessels flew an inverted Philippine flag as they sailed in waters off northern Philippines.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tech news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp