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Senate wants stricter ‘socmed’ rules vs trolling

The trolls have been destroying people on social media. These are supported by those in the administration

Hananeel Bordey

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The Senate may call on the representatives of social media sites Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to address misinformation peddled on their platforms, Senator Francis Pangilinan said on Friday.

In a text message to reporters, Pangilinan hit the widespread misinformation peddled by some supporters of politicians and government leaders amid the pandemic.

“The trolls have been destroying people on social media. These are supported by those in the administration,” Pangilinan said.

“In this pandemic, instead of fixing the problems and solving corruption in the Department of Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), allies of the President still engage in fake news against critics of the government on social media sites,” he added.

To prevent the continuous misinformation, Pangilinan said the Senate may summon representatives from the various social media platforms to intensify regulations on false information.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a text message to reporters on Friday, also said that he is receiving criticisms from “netizens and bloggers that we have traced to the [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and Malacañang for “siding with the Makabayan bloc” after the recent Senate hearings on red-tagging.

“All I can say is, I’ve stayed long enough in public service to accept and understand that it is impossible to please everybody and that criticisms come with the territory,” he added.

Lacson, in his latest tweet, maintained that he has done his best to remain fair to both “far-left and far-right” to digest and arrive at informed decisions.

He previously said he is “seriously considering” criminalizing red-tagging as resource persons in the Senate hearings, namely Atty. Tony La Viña and Human Rights Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit, have expressed support for this suggestion.

“That being said, my legal staff and consultants will study and evaluate all the information gathered during the three hearings. It is only then that we can come up with our recommendations to the plenary whether or not to pursue passing legislation to criminalize red-tagging,” Lacson said.

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