|The black pictures on Facebook and Twitter symbolize the death of the free-|
dom of speech after the passing of the Cyber Crime Law.
It doesn't mean that I'm not in favor of the Cyber Crime Law, I'm not in favor of every word that is written there. In fact, I'm glad that the common cyber crimes like cyber pornography will be tackled there and cyber bullying will be at least minimized. However, the libel clause, the most controversial part of the law, puzzled me a lot.
I agree with what everyone said of this "takedown" clause. It's too broad and vague. Now, everyone will ask, "Do you consider this article that I'm about to post libelous?" "If I add this word, will it make my article libelous?" Now, even if you think your article is no way libelous, as long as someone finds your article offensive, he can sue you. Every time I open TLIMC, I'm aware that non-Christians can access my article. While I still hope someone gets touched by my article, I'm also ready to answer the questions of the Agnostics, Atheists, and those from the other religions. Now, no more questions asked. "I find it against our beliefs. I will sue you for libel." The irony: the same people can sue each other if they post something that the other groups think is libelous. We don't want that to happen.
Another glitch of the clause is that someone can still be sued for libel for an article he posted ages ago for the reason that they only read it today. In my other blog, Sporty Guy, I posted my disappointment to SM Tickets for the problems they encountered during the mall-wide ticket selling of the Samsung UAAP Cheerdance Competition. While I know it's just their first try of managing the ticket selling, it's no doubt even more atrocious than 1995, when the competition began, or even the 1st NCAA Cheerdance Competition in 2001 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, whose ticket selling is controlled by TicketNet. While the article was dated September 21, which according to a lawyer Sam Gogna, Tony Bueno, and Rick Virata of Magic 89.9 called up during their radio program Boys Night Out will not fall under the jurisdiction of the CCL, SM can say they only read the article today, the time the effect of the CCL starts, and they can still sue me for libel.
I'm aware that libel is not a joke, but freedom of expression is also not a joke. I know I'm free to write, but I also make sure that my posts will not be too offensive to the other side. This is the reason why I at least want the CCL to be amended if not completely turned down. My UAAP Cheerdance Newbie Gaming post and my UFL post about the AFP soccer teams became battlefields for those who didn't like what happened. Although I now have the power to sue them, I don't know who to start. They're named "Anonymous". Most, if not all, of the websites allow anonymous commenting. Another thing: I have no plan of suing the commenters, because it's their right to express their own thoughts. If not for the commenters, I would not finish my UAAP Do the Math article.
There are still a lot of ways to post our articles online. Let's be creative, dynamic, and strategic. My homie David is right when he posted this, something I missed out. And one more thing, let's ask God (Allah for the Muslim readers, Buddha for the Buddhists, or the Hindu gods for the Hindu audience) for the wisdom to be responsible online users. This Cyber Crime Law, despite not liking it, gives us a reminder that the computer and the internet are not to be used for too much fun. We may be of different religions, but let's be united for our freedom to express our own thoughts. Peace out!
PS: I just wanna share this verse (with all due respect to the people of the other religions): Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29, NIV)