AFP chief clarifies: Regulate social media platforms—not users—under anti-terror law
MANILA, Philippines — The chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay has clarified that his proposal to add social media in the anti-terrorism law was to regulate the use of the platforms, and not its users.
“What I meant by that is to regulate and put order on the social media platforms, not the users per se,” Gapay said in an interview over CNN Philippines’ “News.PH” Friday night.
“We’re not here really to curtail the freedom of expression of the users. They can really upload whatever they want,” he added. “But what I’m saying is to regulate the platforms on the content that they allow to be uploaded in the platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and similar platforms.”
Gapay made the statement as he previously said that he wants to regulate the use of social media under the implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2022.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon was one of those who opposed the idea, saying that it was unconstitutional and tramples on people’s freedom of speech.
Gapay, meanwhile, admitted that his previous pronouncement “invited interests among several sectors.”
“But the premise was social media is being used as a vehicle of the terrorist groups to recruit, to gain financing in logistics, to radicalize and even plan terrorist attacks,” he said.
The AFP chief then cited that some countries are coordinating with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to look into contents being uploaded in their platforms.
“We are proposing the idea through DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology), if we could coordinate with these social media platforms to somehow regulate yung mga ina-upload nila sa kanilang platforms (those being uploaded in their platforms),” he said, hoping that the same will be done in the Philippines too.
“Like, of course, violent materials, like terrorist groups beheading their captives and even bomb-making, it’s all on the Internet,” he added.
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