Senators eye suing Facebook for failing to stop online sexual abuses
MANILA, Philippines — Some senators have pushed for the filing of criminal charges against social media giant Facebook and other social network platforms for failing to stop the proliferation of online sexual abuses against women and children in the country.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan warned during a committee hearing on Tuesday that under Republic Act No. 10364, or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, social media sites could be held liable for abetting crimes of sexual exploitation committed online.
The Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality tackled pending bills seeking to amend current laws to address the unabated cases of online human trafficking and child pornography.
However, Pangilinan expressed dismay after some invited resource persons, including the country representative of Facebook, failed to attend.
Abuses in plain sight
“Why isn’t Facebook here? Are they even interested to address the challenges of violations of our children’s rights? Are they above the law?” he asked.
“These abuses are happening in plain sight in these social media accounts. They’re making money out of these activities and the least they could have done was to send a representative to this hearing,” he said.
The hearing also discussed proposed measures on electronic violence against women and children, online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and potentially exploitative websites, among others.
Senators noted how Facebook and other social media platforms had become the “crime scene” in the online abuse and exploitation of children and other criminal activities, mostly perpetrated by fake accounts.
Sen. Pia Cayetano joined Pangilinan’s suggestion for the committee to call for a separate hearing and to file cases against the social media networks, as they were supposedly taking the Senate for granted.
“Without a case filed against them, they will keep on giving us contemptible behavior,” she said.
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