Purveyors of fake news should be jailed – senator

(BUSINESS WORLD) A SENATOR on Wednesday said fake news creation should be criminalized after a poll by Pulse Asia Research, Inc. showed Filipinos consider it to be a problem. 

“Misinformation and disinformation should be taken seriously,” Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said in a statement. “Those behind it should be held accountable for their actions. It is not right for us to allow irresponsible news and information to spread because it will cause wrong decisions and opinions among our countrymen.”

The senator has filed Senate Bill 1296, which seeks to amend the Cyber-crime Prevention Act. If passed, purveyors of fake news will be punished with at least six years of jail time or fined P200,000. 

“We intend to establish a policy to provide our citizens with a means for their protection from online falsehood and manipulation,” the senator said. “We hope to stop the proliferation of disinformation and misinformation on the internet by criminalizing fake news as a cyber-crime.” 

Meanwhile, the presidential palace said it would launch programs against fake news.