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On Tuesday, February 21, House Speaker Panteleon Alvarez filed House Bill 5021 or the proposed Social Media Regulation Act of 2017.

While we also have a ton load to say about the bill, allow us to second-guess ourselves and acknowledge that perhaps, we don’t fully understand what it wants to do.

Because we saw the bill’s explanatory note, which Rappler shared on Facebook (Thanks, Maria Ressa and co!) and maaaan. It took us several tries—last night and this morning!—before we even finished reading it.

Check out the first sentence: “Information Technology, needless to emphasize, has made life, living life and doing life facile and convenient.”

Living life and doing life? Facile? Reminded us of Malacañang’s felicitations quip.

Also: Information Technology was what we called the little things like email and livejournal that the internet afforded us back in 2001! That’s sixteen years ago, yikes.

Anyway, to understand the note, we did what our old English professors and writing teachers have long tipped us: say it in your own words. When you’re able to do so, then you’ve understood the lesson.

And so we tried saying it in our own words. Just so our effort is worth it, allow us to share it with you below. If Speaker Alvarez is reading: Sir! Can you take a look at it and tell us if we got it correctly?

It goes without saying that information technology has made life convenient. Yet increased online activity has also created several issues that must be addressed.

Social media services create instant connections between millions of people every day. It allows relatives across the world to communicate with their mobiles, tablets, and laptops. However, there have been several cases of identity theft, perpetrated by scammers who create fake social media accounts to impersonate others.

The proposed bill seeks to minimize identify theft on social media. It will require the owners of social media platforms (including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to reasonably verify the identity of users before they create an account.

The bill will also establish penalties for companies that do not meet this verification requirement, and those who commit identity theft through social media.

Posted by Rappler on Tuesday, February 21, 2017


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