Facebook names PR partners for Singapore and Malaysia markets

Facebook has appointed AKA Asia and Perspective Strategies to manage PR duties in Singapore and Malaysia respectively. The incumbents on the account were Weber Shandwick in Singapore and Arcis Communications in Malaysia. AKA Asia came on board on June, while Perspective Strategies took over this month. Facebook declined to comment further on Marketing's queries.

Last week, the company announced that it will be handing out SG$4.75 million grants to support over 800 local small businesses in Singapore. Each grant amounts to SG$5,500 which includes SG$3,500 in cash and SG$2,000 in optional ad credits.

To be eligible, the business must have between two and 50 employees, been in business for more than one year and experienced challenges due to the pandemic. They also need to be in or near a location where Facebook operates. Applications are open from 16 to 22 September, and businesses do not need to have a Facebook presence in order to apply. 

Separately, the tech giant was recently one of the companies which agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area. This will be done through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), a cross-industry initiative founded by the World Federation of Advertisers. It comes after 15 months of talks within GARM between major advertisers, agencies and key global platforms, with the first changes to be introduced this month.

This comes about two months after Nick Clegg, Facebook's VP of global affairs and communications, said in a post in July that Facebook does not profit from hate, adding that there is no incentive for the company to do anything but remove it. The note was a result of companies such as Diageo and Coca-Cola pressing pause on their Facebook ad spend as part of the "Stop profit for hate" campaign which claims that Facebook has "allowed incitement to violence against protesters" fighting for racial justice in America.

Meanwhile just yesterday, the company deleted "hundreds of coordinated fake accounts" tied to individuals in China and in the Filipino military which were reportedly interfering in the politics of the Philippines and the US. According to multiple media reports including The Guardian and The Straits Times, the accounts were removed "for violating its policy against foreign or government interference". According to Facebook, this is "coordinated inauthentic behaviour on behalf of a foreign or government entity". According to The Guardian, approximately 280,000 people were targeted with posts in Filipino and English concerning domestic politics, military anti-terrorism activities and criticism of communism, among others.

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