SENATOR Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada introduced a bill that seeks to criminalize the act of doing and spreading fake news.

Estrada filed Senate Bill 1296 to put a stop to the proliferation of disinformation and misinformation on the internet by criminalizing fake news as a cybercrime under Republic Act 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

He said fake news, under the bill, refers to misinformation and disinformation of stories, facts, and news presented as a fact, the veracity of which cannot be confirmed, with the purpose of distorting the truth and misleading its audience.

"Click baits, propaganda, and manipulation of legitimate news segments to deliberately online falsehoods, false news or disinformation are so common nowadays, making it difficult to distinguish which is actual news to fake ones. Masyado ng talamak ang mga ito," Estrada said.

He also cited a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations that showed the majority of Filipinos find it difficult to spot fake news on television, radio, and social media.

The SWS survey showed that 70 percent or seven out of 10 adult Filipinos believed that the problem of fake news and its spread on the internet is “serious.” (SunStar Philippines)