MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo is hoping lawmakers would draft a law to regulate the use of social media and prevent the spread of false information online.
This was the Vice President’s suggestion when asked by reporters in Dagupan City how disinformation during the election season can be stopped. (READ: Robredo urges Facebook to take down more 'fake' pages)
“Kailangan talaga iyong Kongreso magpasa ng mga batas na kahit paano may control saka regulation iyong mga post sa social media. Kailangan iyong mga social media networks gaya ng Facebook, ng Instagram, pati nga YouTube, kailangan magkaroon ng regulation,” Robredo said on Wednesday, March 20.
(Congress really needs to pass a law that would somehow control and regulate posts on social media. There must be regulation for social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube.)
“Kasi kung anybody can post anonymously, ang daming nabibiktimang hindi naman dine-deserve na siraan (Because if anybody can post anonymously, there would be so many victims who do not deserve to be attacked),” she added.
Before making the proposal, the Vice President said the May elections have become “dirty because of social media.” Robredo recalled that in the 2016 elections, social media became an avenue for spreading false information against candidates. (READ: Propaganda war: Weaponizing the internet)
The Vice President herself, even her children, were victims of vicious attacks by trolls and propagandists.
“So kung nakikita natin, iyong 2016, grabe iyong role na pinlay ng social media, kasi ang daming nasirang tao, na iyong pagkasira sa kanila, wala namang basehan. Dahil lang mayroong mga tao na naka-create ng infrastructure para iyong fake news mag-proliferate. Kaya iyong sa akin, kung wala tayong gagawin, parang lalo pa siyang pasama nang pasama,” said Robredo.
(In 2016, social media played a huge role in this, because there were so many attacks against people that did not have basis. And this was just because there were people who created the infrastructure to proliferate fake news. For me, if we don’t do anything about this, it will only get worse.)