Anti-fake news bill filed in Senate

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a bill which will make the creation and spreading of fake news a crime.

Under Estrada’s Senate Bill No. 1296, fake news is defined as “misinformation and disinformation of stories, facts and news which is presented as a fact, the veracity of which cannot be confirmed, with the purpose of distorting the truth and misleading its audience.”

“Click baits, propaganda, and manipulation of legitimate news segments to deliberately spread online falsehoods, false news or disinformation are so common nowadays, making it difficult to distinguish which is actual news to fake ones. Masyado nang talamak ang mga ito (It is widespread) ,” Estrada said in a statement on Thursday.

“The State also endeavors to establish a policy to provide its citizens with a means for the protection from online falsehood and manipulation. It aims to protect our society from the damage caused by deliberate online falsehoods and fake news and seeks to criminalize the actions of malicious actors who knowingly spreads false news or offer disinformation tools and services,” the bill’s explanatory note read.

The measure seeks to amend Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 by including the definition of fake news and by adding fake news under cybercrime content-related offenses.

Earlier, Senator Robin Padilla likewise filed a resolution pushing for an inter-agency approach against the influx of fake news.

A survey, conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) last year, showed that 70 percent of Filipinos find fake news and its spread on the internet as a “serious” problem.

Even the Philippine National Police is complaining about fake news on various social media platforms. -Inquirer