DILG calls for laws to regulate social media

The Department of the Interior and Local Government called on Congress to follow the lead of other countries and pass legislation to regulate social media, adding that such platforms needed to be held liable for any illegal content on their sites.

In a Friday DILG’s statement, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya explained social media sites such as Facebook must be made to account for how they protect their user’s privacy and how they handle and safeguard users’ data.

Malaya added that social media must also have the duty to take care of its users, including protecting them from illegal and harmful content.

According to the Undersecretary, the Philippines was considered the social media capital of the world by amount of use with 80 million people using social media on average about four hours a day.

“Our country is one of Facebook’s biggest markets, accounting for 93% of the country’s social media market share. Since it dominates the Philippine market, it generates considerable profits especially in the last national and local elections,” he added.

Given these profits, Malaya said that Facebook and other technology companies had to be made responsible and accountable for stopping illegal activities – like e-sabong and child abuse – especially on live streaming and video call platforms.

“Up to now, online predators increasingly use live-stream because most tech companies have not done enough to detect or stop this type of abuse,” he argued.

“As a business entity operating in the Philippines, Facebook should never allow itself to be a venue or a tool for illegal activity.”

Malaya went on the emphasize that the Philippines needed to be vigilant in enforcing its laws without fear or favor, even if it involves a social media giant.

“We must build a safe and healthy online environment removing content that is illegal and harmful to the general public.” — DVM, GMA News

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