International

Go To Jail For A Retweet? Filipino Lawmaker Tries To Ease Concern

Does he need to watch what he likes? Facebook's logo is reflected in the glasses of a student in Manila. i i

hide captionDoes he need to watch what he likes? Facebook's logo is reflected in the glasses of a student in Manila.

Ted Aljibe /AFP/Getty Images
Does he need to watch what he likes? Facebook's logo is reflected in the glasses of a student in Manila.

Does he need to watch what he likes? Facebook's logo is reflected in the glasses of a student in Manila.

Ted Aljibe /AFP/Getty Images

This headline at Global Post is an eye-opener:

"Philippines: Click 'like,' go to prison. Cybercrime law threatens 12 years behind bars for 'liking' or re-Tweeting libel."

As Bloomberg News has reported, the country's new "Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 ... identifies, prevents and punishes Internet-based crimes such as hacking, identity theft and spamming." Global Post says that one clause "could conceivably help lock up Internet users for 10-plus years over a Facebook 'like' or a 're-Tweet' on Twitter" if the message is libelous.

But The Philippines' ABS-CBN News reports that today, one of the law's authors, Sen. Edgardo Angara, said "the anxiety and apprehension over this are exaggerated." Also, "Angara said at a news forum ... that a complainant must prove first that there's a conspiracy among the author of the libelous post and those who liked or shared it to destroy his or her reputation."

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