Hontiveros calls on FB, Twitter to crack down on criminal activities on its sites
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Risa Hontiveros called on social media giants Facebook and Twitter to go after criminal activities using their respective platforms to exploit women and children.
During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality, Atty. Lawrence Aritao of the International Justice Mission said that his group received over 1.2 million reports of sexual exploitation in 2020.
That mark is almost three times that of 2019’s number of around 400,000 reports.
“Hindi lang fake news ang madaling kumakalat sa social media, pati mga pang-aabuso din sa ating kabataan at kababaihan [It’s not just fake news that are quickly spreading in social media, there’s also the abuse of our youth and women],” said Hontiveros in a statement Wednesday. “Social media platforms that still are not able to address this growing problem should be made accountable.”
“This is a dramatic rise in a span of only a year. Mas pinalala talaga ito ng pandemya, lalo na at marami ang nakababad sa social media [Things have worsened because of the pandemic because people now have more time to lounge around social media]. Social networks should prioritize ending the proliferation of these crimes before even thinking of expanding their products.”
Hontiveros hoped that Facebook can send their representatives in the senate committee’s next hearing as it’s the social media platform that Filipinos use the most.
She said that incite from the social media giant would be greatly helpful in the campaign against sexual exploitation online.
Hontiveros, in 2020, already implored the National Bureau of Investigation to take down the pages that are exploiting minors and called on the agency to arrest the users running those accounts.
While she asked Facebook and Twitter for help, Hontiveros also filed Senate Bill 2068 or the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Law that imposes duties for social media platforms.
Under the bill, any social media network or similar entity that is found guilty of failing to comply to the requirements of the bill shall suffer a penalty of P10,000,000.
“Social networks should start taking this issue seriously. Ang buhay at hinaharap ng ating kababaihan at kabataan ang nakasalalay dito [The lives and futures of our women and children are what’s at risk here]. We always welcome innovation, but not if it comes at the expense of the Filipino people,” said Hontiveros.
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