SHOULD the censors board start regulating social media?
Some of the country’s officials think so, given that sexual content have become so readily available and accessible on various social media platforms that even children could watch these easily.
The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board currently has no jurisdiction over social media.
Maj. Philipp Ines, spokesperson of the Manila Police District, said there should be regulation over social media content as freedom of expression is not absolute.
“Sabi nga natin, ang karapatan at kalayaan ay laging may kaakibat na responsibilidad,” Ines told republicasia.
“Kailangan, hindi naman palagi nating pe-pwedeng sasabihing karapatan natin ‘to. Lahat dapat nating nire-regulate para maging maayos lahat,” he added.
He also mentioned that this would help the side of law enforcement to minimize the proliferating number of sexually-explicit activities conducted online.
Hermosa, Bataan Mayor Antonio Joseph “Jopet” Inton also believes the MTRCB should regulate social media, especially when it comes to content that children could access.
“We have to protect our minors,” Inton said.
Regulation may not be easy given that social media is such a vast space, but there is “nothing to lose in trying,” he said.
Congress could also pass laws to restrict the access of the youth, especially minors, to social media, he said.
The officials made the statement at the launch of republicasia’s website and its story delving into the world of “alters” and online sexual content creators.
MTRCB chief Diorella “Lala” Sotto-Antonio said in July that while the MTRCB has no power over social media and online streamers, she does not see anything wrong in working with them.
Sotto also said it would help if the MTRCB’s jurisdiction would be expanded because she wants the agency to be parents’ partners at home and to ensure a safe viewing experience for children.
The agency’s mandate is to regulate and classify motion pictures, television programs, and publicity materials.
The Philippines ranked second in the world regarding time spent on the internet and using social media, per the Digital 2022 assessment by the social media management platform Hootsuite and creative agency We are Social.
According to the report, in the previous 12 months, Filipinos have been using the internet on average for about 10 hours and 27 minutes every day.
Additionally, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a US-based non-profit organization, estimates that from March to May 2020, there were approximately 280,000 incidents of child sexual exploitation in the Philippines.