Purveyors of ‘fake news’ should be jailed, fined — Jinggoy

TO discourage people from spreading “fake news,” Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is pushing for the criminalization of act of spreading false or misleading news online.

“Click baits, propaganda, and manipulation of legitimate news segments to deliberately online falsehoods, false news or disinformation are so common nowadays, making it difficult to distinguish which is actual news to fake ones. Masyado ng talamak ang mga ito,” Estrada said.

In introducing Senate Bill No. 1296, the senator said the legislative measure hopes to put to stop the proliferation of disinformation and misinformation on the internet by criminalizing fake news as a cybercrime under Republic Act No. 10175, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Estrada proposed an amendment to Section 3 of RA 10175, to include “fake news” in the definition of terms and its inclusion in Section 4 on the list of cybercrime offenses.

In his proposed SBN 1296, “fake news refers to 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.”  

As an offense, Estrada’s bill said the “creation and dissemination of fake news committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.”

Even surveys showed that the majority of Filipinos already find it difficult to spot fake news on television, radio, and social media, the senator said, citing the results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) conducted in December 2021 and released in February this year

In the SWS survey, it showed that 70% or seven out of 10 adult Filipinos said that the problem of fake news and its spread on the internet is serious.