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Social tech giant Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook Inc., said it addressed the issue in Facebook’s text-only version, which reportedly charged users when photos and videos appear on the said free data version.

“We’re proud of the work we do to create affordable access to data. We tell people that viewing photos and videos will result in data charges when they sign up, and we do our best to remind people that viewing them may result in data charges. The issue identified in the internal report that affected some of those reminders has largely been addressed,” a Meta spokesperson said in an emailed statement to GMA News Online.

Meta’s statement stemmed from a Wall Street Journal report that said Facebook users in developing countries, such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Pakistan, had been charged by cellular service providers for accessing the text-only version of the popular social media platform.

However, Facebook and these cellular service providers had entered into partnerships that allowed data charge-free access to the social media platform.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, notifications that inform users they will be charged for watching videos or viewing pictures failed to appear due to a software glitch in Facebook.

With this, Meta said it made product improvements that resolved the most of the issue.

“We’ll continue to work with our partners to meet our obligations to these users and ensure accurate and transparent data charges, which we know is important to people who use these products,” the Meta spokesperson said.

The text-only version of Facebook allows users in developing countries to access the social media platform without mobile data charges.

Sought for comment, PLDT-Smart Corporate Communications head Cathy Yang told GMA News Online, “As confirmed by FB (Meta), the glitch has largely been addressed.”

Likewise, Globe said that they were recently made aware of Meta’s software glitch that affected mobile data users of the text-only service on Facebook, which led to data charges on certain users of the social media platform.

“We have coordinated with Meta on this incident and we were assured that this technical glitch has been largely addressed,” Globe said.

“Based on our initial assessment, there is no impact to our customers as any charges incurred outside of text-only Facebook are valid,” the Ayala-led telco added.

Globe assured its customers that it was working closely with Meta on any further updates related to the issue.

“We would also like to remind the public that when they exceed their mobile data allocation, they will be charged for accessing paid content such as videos, especially when these are set on autoplay under their phone settings,” Globe said. — DVM, GMA News

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