By Hannah Torregoza
In a bid to promote responsible use of social media and other platforms, Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday pushed for the immediate passage of a bill that would penalize any person or entity that maliciously offer, publish, distribute, circulate, and spread false news or information in print, broadcast or online media.
In filing Senate Bill No. 1492 or An Act Penalizing the Malicious Distribution of False News and Other Related Violations, Villanueva said false news or information are those which either intend to cause panic, division, chaos, violence, and hate, or those which exhibit a propaganda to blacken or discredit one’s reputation.
Since numerous fake social media accounts have sprouted and were created to spread false news, the senator said the bill seeks to punish violators with a hefty penalty depending on the nature of crime he or she has committed.
Any person who would be proven guilty of malicious creation and distribution of false news would face a fine ranging from P100,000 to P5 million and imprisonment of from one to five years.
If the offender is a public official, he or she would be slapped with stiffer penalties—twice the said amount, twice the period of imprisonment and absolute disqualification from holding public office.
If a violator was proven to have aided and encouraged the malicious creation and distribution of fake news, he or she would be slapped with a fine ranging from P50,000 to P3 million and imprisonment ranging from 6 months to 3 years.
Also, any mass media enterprise or social media platform that fails, neglects, or refuses to remove false news would be penalized with a fine ranging from P10 million to P20million and imprisonment ranging from 10 to 20 years.
Tags: An Act Penalizing the Malicious Distribution of False News and Other Related Violations, Anti-fake news bill filed in Senate, fake news, false news, Manila Bulletin, Senate Bill No. 1492, Senator JJoel Vilanueva