Who should be afraid of fake news?
SINCE the advent of social media, fake news has become the byword used to call out an issue talked or written about as a brazen lie spread online intended to defame a person.
But this development is not really new. Before social media came into being, the fake news that we know today was actually known as a malicious gossip passed on by word of mouth. In fact, for entertainment celebrities, it was referred to as a negative publicity that added to the value of the career of the celebrity.
But social media has since caused malicious gossip more hurtful since it is made to appear to be truthful because it is communicated and spread in printed word and images online. And there lies the risk and hazard that the originator faces.
With the resurgence of fake news, the application of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 comes into sharper focus.
Still unknown to many, a person found guilty of libelous comments on the Internet could spend up to 12 years in prison with no possibility of parole.
So persons who should be afraid of fake news are not the objects of fake news but the bloggers and posters of fake news on the Internet.
VERY timely, indeed, and President Duterte ought to be warmly commended for it. His creation of the Philippine Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), although coming in a bit late, should finally give teeth to the President’s no-nonsense campaign to curb corruption in all levels of government.
Already, he has fired several high-ranking officials, including one of his Cabinet men, he believed were into hanky-panky business. If that’s not walking the talk—the President had always openly expressed his hatred against corruption—what is? Surely, with the PACC’s birth, all presidential appointees are now deemed to behave at all times.
Goodbye to the “tara system” aka hush money to facilitate shady deals. For, any iota of doubt as to the integrity of a functionary’s performance could be an instant basis for investigation, if not outright dismissal.
In short, to mostly the recidivists, shape up or ship out.