What You Post Can Make You Go To Prison

What You Post Can Make You Go To Prison


Social Media is not a freedom wall. You have to be responsible because there are consequences to every misdeed.


Two social media issues that has harmed and victimized so many, including myself, is Cyber- Bullying and Internet Libel. Thankfully, Internet Libel is subjected to criminal liabilities, penalties and damages* while Cyber-Bullying is in the process of turning into a Lawful Offense.
Cyber – Bullying
Cyber – Bullying is any act of cruelty committed using the internet or any form of electronic media or technology that has the effect of stripping one’s dignity or causing reasonable fear or physical or emotional harm. This is according to  Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya who authored House Bill 5718**.
Forms of Cyber-bullying
  • Repeated sending of offensive, rude and insulting message, distributing of belittling information about the victim.
  • Posting or sending of offensive photos of the victim, whether digitally altered or not or were taken with or without consent.
  • Any form of publicizing content as long as it has intention to humiliate and embarrass the victim.
Internet Libel

Internet Libel  is a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural**** or juridical person*****, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead by means of writings committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future. This definition is from Art. 353 of the Revised Penal Code and Art. 4c (1) of R.A. 10175***.


Me, The Victim – The Experience
Sad, hurt, angry; these words aren’t enough to describe how I felt when I was bashed, cursed, insulted, humiliated and gossiped online for a story that isn’t true. I was devastated, depressed, I lost appetite, I was suicidal. And every night was a torment of never ending flashbacks of the events. I was ashamed to go out, I was literally in pieces. That is worse than a break up, way way worse.
Internet bashing has become a culture among internet users and even initiate problems that involve hostility and aggression. The definitions of truth and lie, and, right and wrong are twisted into what your community says about you, by whether it honors or excludes you, by whether how much believes in your story…it has become less about facts and evidence. Because of the anonymity that the internet gives, social and moral norms are easily switched off and users are emboldened to just say or post anything online without accountability. Regardless of its truthfulness, causing someone’s humiliation is never commendable. It is immature, unprofessional and uncultured, especially when things can be taken care of privately.
For the proposed Anti-Cyber-Bullying Act, committing the deed means a fine of at least P50,000 but not more than P100,000 and imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than six years, or both. On the other hand, Internet Libel has a penalty of imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months or a fine of at least P50,000 but not exceeding P250,000 , or both. Any person who willfully aids in the commission of Internet Libel is likewise held accountable. 
If you ever find yourself in a situation like mine, make sure you screenshot and document everything regardless of how much you don’t want to read mean things because you can definitely take these people to court. Thankfully, on my part, I was surrounded and supported by my family and friends all the time. Despite everything, I was taught to understand rather than judge. To forgive rather than hate. I do not regret showing humility and forgiveness; in the end, character  will earn back everything that I lost, and lost friends are fake allies – revealed, they don’t matter…they never did anyway. 
Ultimately, the world is full of duality: light and dark, bitter and sweet, happy and sad, high and low, love and indifference. Every person is both good and bad, right and wrong, correct and mistaken, all at the same time! It is a fact we have to accept. This doesn’t make us less or more than another, it makes us all equal and the same, it makes us have no right to step on another just to feel a little bit higher, a litter bit better. No one will ever be better by putting others down. 

Sorry for the jargons

*Damages are awards, typically of money, to be paid to a person as compensation for loss or injury.

** House Bill 5718 is known as the proposed “Anti-Cyber Bullying Act of 2015” and is not yet a law.

***R.A. 10175 refers to The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

****Natural Persons refer to Human Beings

*****Juridical Persons refer to entities such as firms and corporations created by law and recognized as a legal entity having distinct identity, legal personality, and duties and rights.

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