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After BBM Alerts, Lazada, Shopee, Facebook Told to Stop Sale of Text Blast Kits

The NTC also asked tech giants to explain its availability.
by Reuters
Just now
Photo/s: shutterstock

The Philippines has ordered tech giants Facebook, Alibaba Lazada, and Sea's Shopee to stop sales of cellular equipment used for emergency messaging after "text blasts" were used to promote the presidential bid of ex-senator Bonbgong Marcos.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered the platforms to appear before the agency on Oct. 27 to explain why they should not be held liable for selling such gear.

The NTC's order, made public on Tuesday, follows an investigation into an "emergency alert" text blast, typically used during natural disasters, that contained a message of support for the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.


'Emergency Alert' on Bongbong Marcos Campaign is Pushed to Mobile Phones

Bongbong Marcos Says 'Emergency Alert' Wasn't From Him

Under local laws, the sale, manufacture, and importation of equipment that can send a mass text message for free would require NTC approval.

The NTC has said the mobile text alerts must have come from illegal channels since the Emergency Alert Short Message Service is used by disaster agencies.

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Facebook, Lazada Philippines, Alibaba, Shopee Philippines, and Shopee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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