The National Privacy Commission (NPC) said Facebook has started investigating the rise of numerous “impostor” accounts of Filipinos in the social media platform.

The commission said it had alerted Facebook Representative in the Philippines Clare Amador, who replied that Facebook was investigating the matter “as well as other information on unauthorized FB accounts.”

Student-activists from Cebu were the first to notice the existence of multiple dummy accounts under their names, but other Facebook users have also reported impostor accounts.

The extent of the identity breach has yet to be determined, but NPC said the impostor accounts mostly copied names and identities of students.

The fake accounts were mostly empty, used names of Filipino Facebook users, and in other cases used real names of users whose names on social media had been hidden.

While most of the dummy accounts were deleted after being reported, some users saw new accounts under their names appear.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Office of the Student Regent on Sunday morning issued an advisory as UP Cebu protesters were some of the first ones to notice the account duplicates.

“We are encouraging students NOT to panic and instead help each other in reporting SUSPICIOUS accounts ONLY. We just need to stand together against possible tactics seeking to silence our voice. Stay safe, everyone!” the statement read.

Some users expressed fear that content could be posted maliciously under dummy accounts to expose them to liability under the proposed anti-terrorism law. John Ezekiel J. Hirro