Drilon Seeks Law to Unmask Trolls on Social Media

So victims can avail of legal remedies.
Photo/s: Shutterstock

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday suggested crafting a law mandating social media platforms to reveal the identity of online trolls so that their victims can avail of the appropriate remedies.

Drilon asked the opinion of resource persons during a Senate panel hearing on the proposed law, citing the lack of legal remedies against trolls who thrive on anonymity.

"I would request our resource persons to advise the committee, give their expert views as to the manner or the means by which we can require the social media platforms to reveal the identity of the trolls," he said.

"By doing this, we can make those who use social media responsible and those that they victimize can avail of the remedy under the law for libel and defamatory language," he added.

Drilon earlier won the libel cases he filed against former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada over his social media posts accusing the senator of corruption and other irregularities in various projects in the province.

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While the senator was able to avail of the libel laws to have Mejorada convicted, he said this could be done if the accusers are anonymous on social media.

"This is what we should correct... To me, this is the balance between the freedom of speech and the responsibility of that use of that freedom," he added.

READ: What is Libel and Why is it Dangerous for Press Freedom?

The Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws was tackling a resolution calling for a review of the country's criminal laws in light of technological advancements and the popularity of various social media platforms.

"Despite technological advancements, our laws should always protect us and our loved ones from those who abuse the openness of the internet by spreading disinformation, hate speech, and undertake criminal activity using social media platforms," said panel chairman Sen. Francis Pangilinan.


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