No ‘onion-skinned’ people, liars allowed in government — Poe
Onion-skinned people, especially liars, are not allowed in government, so said Senator Grace Poe.
In her closing remark in the hearing of the Senate committee on public information and mass media on Tuesday, Poe reminded public officials to “expect public scrutiny” once they step into office.
“Public office is a public trust. Dapat naman talaga napupuna ng mga mamamayan kaming mga naninilbihan (The public really should criticize us public service),” she said.
“Bawal ang balat sibuyas sa serbisyo publiko. At lalo nang bawal ang sinungaling. Hindi dapat tayo ang promotor ng misinformation at disinformation. Tayo dapat ang nangunguna sa paglaban dito,” the senator added.
(Onion-skinned people aren’t allowed in public service. Liars are especially not allowed. We shouldn’t be the promoter of misinformation and disinformation. We should be the first in fighting against it.)
Poe, who is leading the probe on fake news as chair of the committee, lamented the extent of the problem of fake news, which she described not only as the spread of “misinformation and disinformation” but “disrespect perhaps.”
To misinform, she said, is to “inadvertently share false information” while “disinform” is to deliberately create and share information known to be false.
“This is what experts termed as ‘misinformation and disinformation of our ecosystem,’” said the senator.
In the same breadth, Poe reminded bloggers that while they have a right to criticize, they “do not have the right to misinform.”
“Opinions passed off as news are as deadly as lies,” Poe said.
Despite this “misinformation-disinformation” problem, the senator cautioned against regulating or criminalizing any speech.
She said one solution to address the problem is to educate the people and strengthen the campaign on the proper use of cyberspace.
“Media literacy is the best long-term solution but it should not just be the government,” Poe said, “We are grateful for all the private entities, particularly those coming from the media, that teach the netizens how to distinguish real from false information.”
“It’s also time that we encourage people to use the existing laws and institutions like the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) Cybercrime Division already in place. With technology, we can fight back abuses in technology,” she said. /je
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