Senate to probe lewd online 'secret groups'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2017 07:37 PM

MANILA- The Senate will look into "secret groups" on social media that allegedly violate women's rights by posting lewd photos and indecent comments about women, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said Thursday.

"These people have no right to enjoy our internet freedom only to abuse our women and children. We will not allow them to shame our young women, suppress their right to express themselves through social media and contribute to a culture of misogyny and hate," Hontiveros, Senate Committee on Women chair, said in a statement.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday said it was keeping tabs of a Facebook private group whose members allegedly post sensitive photos of women without their permission.

Hontiveros said her staff "has already started coordinating with Facebook, pro-women netizens, and the NBI" to "unmask" and hold accountable online misogynists.

"We must put an end to this online locker room talk, which is a manifestation of the culture of misogyny and commodification of women prevalent in our country right now," she said.

Aside from the congressional probe, a bill that seeks to impose penalties against sexual offenders on the internet is being pushed in the Senate in a bid to curb incidents of cyber catcalling and abuse.

Under the Anti-Gender-Based Electronic Violence bill, netizens who will post misogynistic and homophobic attacks on social media may be jailed from 5 to 10 years, and fined between P100,000 and P500,000.

Offenses listed under the proposed measure include harassing or threatening the victim through text messaging, posts in social media sites, or other cyber, electronic, or multimedia means.