Solons hesitant about enforcing regulations on social media

Lawmakers Weigh In on Proposal for Regulated Social Media Use to Combat Misinformation

Several lawmakers expressed reservations about the idea of regulating social media use in response to the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and deepfakes. The Kapisanan ng Social Media Broadcasters ng Pilipinas, Inc. (KSMBPI) recently called for the creation of a national social media regulatory board to address the issue.

Davao Oriental Rep. Cheeno Miguel Almario acknowledged the need to address fake news but emphasized the importance of balancing freedom of speech with regulation. He pointed out that the challenge lies in determining how much the state should regulate free speech.

Tingog party-list Rep. Jude Acidre echoed Almario’s sentiments, stating that any regulations should be accompanied by safeguards to protect freedom of expression and information. Both lawmakers agreed that measures must be in place to verify the authenticity of information shared on social media.

Meanwhile, the KSMBPI filed criminal complaints against specific individuals for posting illegal, immoral, and libelous content on social media. This included a deepfake video featuring a voice impersonating President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. discussing a conflict with China in the West Philippine Sea.

In response to these developments, Lanao del Norte Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo called for a serious discussion on regulating social media content to prevent harm to the public. He cited an example from his province where fake news about ISIS presence caused fear and panic following a bombing incident.

The debate around regulating social media use continues as lawmakers grapple with the need to address misinformation while upholding freedom of expression.

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