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Facebook's big Philippines mistake

dpadpa 12/06/2016

Facebook tried to wish users in the Philippines a happy Independence Day, instead they used a symbol to indicate a state of war.

Facebook users in the Philippines received an automatic greeting with an inverted national flag Sunday, a symbol used in that country to indicate a state of war.

"Happy Independence Day! Here's to all of the Philippines' health, happiness and prosperity," the greeting read, bearing an image of the flag with the red stripe on top, instead of the blue, in an apparent error.

Netizens thanked Facebook for the greeting, but called out the social media site to correct the flag.

"Hi Facebook, I love you but I didn't know the Philippines is at war," tweeted Irene Mindanaoan. "Thanks for the effort though." Another Twitter user, John Arvin Nuarin, said the Facebook error was inadvertently accurate.

"We are at war with poverty, crime and ourselves," he tweeted.

Unlike other nations, the Philippines flies its normal flag upside down as a war flag or battle ensign.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comments.

President Benigno Aquino led his last Independence Day commemorations in office before his term ends on June 30.

"Our freedom was once stolen by our fellow Filipinos," he said, in reference to the dictatorship of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

"This means that if we are not vigilant, it may happen again," he told assembled diplomats and government officials.

Aquino has expressed concerns over President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's vows to clamp down ruthlessly on crime and corruption suspects, including by killing them.

But Duterte has promised to uphold human rights and the constitution amid mounting criticisms over his statements.

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