For the millions of Facebook users around the world, clicking “like” on an obnoxious post is a quick way to share a laugh with all your online friends. You share the post, your cyber buddy makes a snarky comment, someone else “likes” said snarky comment, another comment followed by another like, and so forth and so on until it disappears from the news feed and everyone forgets it ever existed. Life goes on. It’s all harmless fun, right?
But wait a minute: users in the Philippines might actually end up in jail for “liking” a comment. Seriously. In jail. Over a Facebook “like.” Say what?
It all started with a legitimate concern over cybercrimes, which led to the Filipino government passing the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which targets hacking, identity theft, and spamming, among other crimes.
But things took a dark turn when online libel was added to the list. Merely clicking “like” on a post considered libelous can land you in jail. We think. Or maybe you have to comment on the post before you’re charged. Or it might land the person who published the post in jail. Or is it the person who tweeted it? The law isn’t very clear, which has led to mass online opposition.
What is clear is that if the Philippines continue down this road, Jack FM is a lock to be outright banned throughout the islands, and who would want that?
-Carlos Delgado, CBS Radio Los Angeles