After the news about Facebook's third-party fact-checking partnership with Rappler and Vera Files broke out, several pro-Duterte websites were flagged by the platform. This prompted supporters of the country’s commander-in-chief to leave FB and switch to VK.com, what's more popular online as the Russian version of Facebook.
VK, also known as VKontakte, is a Russian online social media and social networking service which was launched in October of 2016.
According to pro-Duterte influencer and netizen Paula Defensor Knack, who chose VK as their alternative social media app, VK is “smooth, less stressful, at matipid sa mobile data.”
She also adds that VK is “Mas disente na social media platform.”
Pro-Duterte FB groups such as Pres. Rody Duterte International, Paula Defensor Philippine Group, Pres. Rody Duterte Facebook Army, Duterte Kami ang Media Mo, Die-Hard Fans of Miriam Defensor Santiago, Paula Defensor and Friends, and Paula Defensor Philippine News & Global Supporters, are now migrating to VK, according to Knack.
Upon exploring the page, we found out that VK offers just the same user experience as Facebook. And like FB, VK has profiles and groups as well.
According to the social media app’s About page, VK’s mission is “to unite people, services, and companies while creating simple and convenient communication tools.” Ironically, a report by The Atlantic revealed that the app is popular among American extremist groups, neo-Nazis, racists groups, and the alt-right because of its “loose enforcement when it comes to hate speech.”
A page solely dedicated for the Philippine President is currently active on the site. It's in Russian, but you can translate it to English through Google Chrome’s translate feature. It has 234 followers as of the moment.
Meanwhile, Knack’s page has over 1,000 followers. Several Duterte supporters are actively posting on the page as well.
Other pro-Duterte groups that we found were:
These groups are currently encouraging their “DDS family and friends” to join in the VK party.
On the other hand, other popular pro-Duterte supporters such as Thinking Pinoy, Mocha Uson Blog, and Sass Rogando Sasot remain on Facebook.