By Reyza Ferranco

In an effort to make online interactions more safe and transparent, Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid has filed a bill that would require all users to provide a valid ID for verification before registering on any social media platform.

Photo Courtesy of GizGuide/Government PH

Senate Bill No. 1289, or the Online and Social Media Membership Accountability Act, aims to combat the spread of misinformation and hate speech prevailing online.

To register, the bill requires users to present any valid identification, including government-issued IDs, barangay certificates, or work and student IDs. Existing users must also verify their identities to keep their accounts running on different social media sites.

Law enforcement authorities can then refer to these identifications in case a user engages in criminal acts,including  cyberbullying, slander, or libel, on any online platform.

The senator further explained that the bill is designed to remind all users that everyone is responsible for their actions on social media. He also emphasized the need to hold trolls accountable for disseminating false or incorrect information.

“[D]apat na pong tapusin ang paggawa ng krimen at pagpapakalat ng kasinungalingan gamit ang pekeng user account sa mga social media platform,” Lapid said.

Individuals caught using false identities to register their accounts will be penalized with a fine of at least P100,000 or imprisonment of up to six years, or both. On the other hand, social media service providers who fail to authenticate the user's identification will also be fined P100,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail.

In addition, the senator clarified that any personal information obtained by the operators must still be subject to the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

Edited by Audrei Jeremy Mendador