Last night, many of my friends in facebook changed their profile pictures and cover photos to black. Not wanting to join the bandwagon with a limited knowledge about the Cybercrime Law, I read a few articles and the R.A. 10175 itself, before changing my cover photo to, “what happened to democracy?”
Internet is a place where people, like you and me, despite the social statuses, can interact and share ideas. Netizens can fully express what they want, as long as they are liable to it. And lastly, the internet is a place, where people can access information that can affect their lives, freely. It is not a place where an agency can turn their people to puppets. It was not made to be like that. Internet is a place of freedom.
Personally, I would like to appeal to the supreme court to study the “law” carefully and try to see a statement, or two, that will benefit both sides, anti and pro cybercrime law. The only provisions I find fitting in the cybercrime law are childpornography, cybersex, spamming and cyber prostitution. But the “libel” provision, it is a little vague.
These articles A and B somehow enlightened my mind on the controversial issue the Filipino netizens are now facing. I did not mind who authored and voted for the RA while reading it, what bothered me are the questions, “who will be put in jail?”, “how will you know if the statements are libelous” and “how will you trace the posts made by an anonymous?”.
I quote in article B, ” libel is in the eyes of the offended.” It will be your choice if you will take the statement/s said against you seriously or just let it pass. I received hateful comments in the past that pulled down my self-esteem, instead of running and crying to court, I just let it pass. Why? Simple. I know myself better than those people who try to put me down.
I like to remove the thought that this law was made because a certain individual got fed up of being the netizens’ laughing stock. Famous personalities become a center of attention every now and then, eventually people will get tired of him or her, and look for a new person to make fun of.
It’s not libelous when a person says you are fat, when in reality you really are. True, bloggers should think what they will blog first before posting it online; same goes to the people who should think first before speaking. We can’t please everybody and it’s not our duty to do so. Truth does hurt a lot but it will take a mature person to accept it. Like I said, you know yourself better than those people who tries to put you down.
I quote, again, in the movie Mulan, “Think before you act.” or in our case, “think before you click.”
Freedom comes with great responsibility.
[credits: goes to Ms. Robles owner of raissarobles.com, the website http://www.eff.org for the article, Philippines' New Cybercrime Prevention Act Troubling for Free Expression by Jillian C. York. And http://www.pepper.ph for the links and articles related to RA 10175.
PS. Do visit their sites too. :))]
PPS. No offense are meant in the article. I’m simply stating my own opinion and I’m liable to everything I said.
PPPS. In case I offended you or anybody, I’m sorry and please do forgive me.