Senator Francis Pangilinan filed Philippine Senate Resolution 271 which seeks penalties against Facebook and several social media platforms for the increasing proliferation of false news.
In an interview with Philstar.com, Pangilinan said that they are still looking into the appropriate penalties. He also emphasized that whatever it will be, it has to really ‘hurt the giant social media company’ so they will act on the rampant increase of fake news on the internet.
“More than being an online platform, Facebook may be described as a de facto media company or publisher that should be responsible and accountable for the content it distributes and allows to be distributed, in order to protect the national discourse from fabricated and false news,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
According to Pangilinan, Facebook needs to take responsibility and face possible penalties for failing “to provide an environment that enables the balanced flow of information into, out of, and across the country.” His resolution also seeks to possibly amend the 2012Cybercrime Law and others, with respect to the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech.
“The propagation of fake news stories has become an effective weapon of several political operatives to influence public opinion and national discourse,” Pangilinan said in the resolution.
He also mentioned these satirical and fraudulent posts on Facebook and other social media platforms started during the Philippine presidential elections because of the increase of misinformation.
Just recently, Facebook has already rolled out a tool that allows users to flag supposed fake news. Facebook reviews those suspected items and flags them as disputed. They will then warn the users that they are about to share a disputed article. This filtering system is now being applied in the US and Germany.
“The conversion of false stories into major news topics in this era of post-truth politics has become problematic not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world,” Pangilinan said, noting the wide reach of fake news than the real ones during the US presidential elections.
Meanwhile, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV also filed a resolution similar to what Pangilinan has proposed on Wednesday. He advised the Senate committee on public information and mass media to legislate laws that would protect the Filipinos from this type of deception.