Home Top News NTC asked to take down X posts with adult content

NTC asked to take down X posts with adult content

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JULIAN CHRIST-UNSPLASH

By Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter

THE NATIONAL Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should take down posts on X with sexual content, a congressman said on Wednesday, after the social media platform released a policy allowing adult content.

“X and Elon Musk may not be aware of our laws on cybercrime, sexually explicit content and online sexual abuse and exploitation of children,” Party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co said in a statement. “Sexual content on X should be taken down upon proper petition to the NTC.”

X on Tuesday said it would allow users to post sexual content as long as it is clearly labeled as adult content.

The policy could make it easier for sex offenders to exploit unwitting Filipinos, Ms. Co said.

BusinessWorld got an automated reply from X after it sought comment using a generic X e-mail for media.

Adult content is “material depicting adult nudity or sexual behavior that is pornographic or intended to cause sexual arousal,” according to X. Adult content is restricted for children and adults who opt not to see it.

The social media platform also prohibits nonconsensual adult content and the exploitation of minors.

Under the Philippines’ Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, “any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity” may be punished with a prison term as long as 12 years.

“The implementors of the laws I cited should adjust and mount countermeasures to the policy of X and its effects,” Ms. Co said.

She said law enforcers should monitor X, which could be used as a platform to transact “illegal drugs… and other criminal activities.”

Also on Tuesday, Interior Secretary Benjamin D. Abalos, Jr. said the government is stepping up its fight against child sexual abuse with a plan to empower local officials in handling these cases.

The government will boost desks that deal with violence against women and children, he told a news briefing.

The country has been tagged as a global hotspot for child pornography.

Local governments would also conduct seminars and train people against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, Mr. Abalos said. They would be asked to adopt a “template ordinance” against online child sexual abuse, he added.

Jose Dominic F. Clavano IV, spokesman of the Department of Justice, said tapping village leaders and social workers is among the government’s six pillars in the campaign against online child sexual abuse.

Another is aftercare services for victims, and these would all be operationalized through an executive order to be signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., he told the same briefing.

Village officials, community workers, law enforcers, prosecutors and judges should all be aligned and well-informed about the process of monitoring and building cases against perpetrators, Mr. Clavano said, citing an order from the President.

Of the 214 case referrals from the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center, 413 victims have been rescued in 98 operations. Eighty-eight suspects have been arrested.

At least 38 people were convicted from 2019 to 2024, Mr. Clavano said.

In 2022, one of 100 Filipino children were trafficked to produce child pornography, according to a report from the International Justice Mission, citing its study with the University of Nottingham Rights Lab.

Cases were largely driven by demand from the US, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Europe, it said.

It said governments, tech companies and financial institutions should work together to address the growing problem.

“There are statistics from all over the world, let’s say that maybe one out of 10 children undergoes abuse before the age of 18, and these children as they grow, they have to live with the trauma,” Mr. Clavano said.

Mr. Abalos ordered village officials to report complaints to the police.

Sex abuse cases should not be settled by village officers, he said, adding that negligent officials would be penalized. He added that his agency would push a policy penalizing consumers of child porn.

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