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Sharing Fake News On Coronavirus Can Land You In Jail

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Sharing misleading information can lead to serious consequences

With practically the whole world being paranoid about the spread of the novel coronavirus—which already has left 490 people dead, finding the right information can sometimes be challenging especially in the digital age. While telco companies like Smart have made extra efforts by waiving data charges for viewing the official websites of DoH and PHILVOLCS, combatting misinformation is not an easy task.

As a reminder, the PNP warned Filipino netizens that under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, those caught sharing misinformation may be liable to 6 to 12 years in prison. In addition, PNP adds that other possible violations include Section 18, Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code, entitled Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances. Currently, PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group Spokesperson Jeck Gamad said that they are investigating alleged fake news posts online.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, for his part, said that while people may argue about the importance of Freedom of Speech, “that there are limitations to this constitutional right, including the greater interest of the public.”

Senator Tito Sotto III filed an Anti-Fake News Bill last July 2019, but the proposed measure remains to be under discussion.


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