Robredo says social media giants should be punished for porn, fake news

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2022 09:15 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo on Jan. 25, 2022 visits the residents of Brgy. Pag-asinan in Sulu where her office partnered with the municipality of Pang Lima Tahil to build a 210-meter timber footbridge. Jay Ganzon, OVP handout
Vice President Leni Robredo on Jan. 25, 2022 visits the residents of Brgy. Pag-asinan in Sulu where her office partnered with the municipality of Pang Lima Tahil to build a 210-meter timber footbridge. Jay Ganzon, OVP handout

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo asserted social media platforms should be penalized for pornography and false information that they allow to spread.

The Philippines lacks a law that makes tech giants accountable, 
Robredo noted, when asked about pornographic materials on social media. 

“Ang gusto kong sabihin, kung anong ilalabas sa Facebook, kung anong ilalabas sa Twitter, kung anong ilalabas sa YouTube—whether porn ‘yan, whether fake news—wala tayong control,” she said in interview with veteran host Boy Abunda that was streamed Wednesday. 

(What I want to say is that, whatever comes out on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube—whether it’s porn or fake news—we have no control.) 

“Kailangan magkaroon tayo ng batas na kini-criminalize natin, pini-penalize natin itong social media sites for them to be accountable and to be responsible, na hindi dapat ‘to accessible sa mga tao na wala pa siyang kahandaan mag-process,” continued the Vice President. 

(We should have a law that will criminalize, penalize these social media sites for them to be accountable and to be responsible in a way that these will not be accessible to people who are not yet ready to process those contents.) 

Asked if this control borders on censorship, Robredo said, “Iyong sa akin, hindi control. Pero ginagawa mo silang accountable, na dapat sila ay sinisiguro nila na iyong mga lalabas sa kanilang social media platform, ang makaka-access nun, mga taong tama na iyong mental saka psychological [readiness].” 

(For me, it is not control. But rather, making them accountable in ensuring that content that appears on their social media platform can only be accessed by people with the right mental and psychological readiness.) 

Does this Infringe into the freedom of speech? 

“It depends on how the law will be passed,” argued Robredo, a lawyer and a former congresswoman. 

This, she said, is a “very doable” collaboration among the websites, government, and families. 

“Saka hindi siya static. 'Di ba, iyong social media of 10 years ago is so different from the social media now? Dapat talaga, iyong batas ay hindi rin static,” the presidential aspirant said. 

(And it’s not static. The social media of 10 years ago are so different from the social media now. The law, too, should not be static.) 

“Dapat sinasabayan niya iyong demands of the time. Pero ang klaro dapat sa isip ng mga legislators, na ang pinaka-primary purpose is the protection of the people,” she added. 

(It should keep up with the demands of the time. But what should be clear to our legislators is its primary purpose is the protection of the people.) 

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