Taxing FB, streamers DIGITAL CORNER
This may be an unpopular opinion but Facebook, Twitter, Google, and entertainment streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon, and iFlix should be taxed by the Philippine government.
I believe there is now a significant number of households with multiple subscriptions to streaming services, thus the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) should conduct a technical study on how the government can generate revenues from them.
While offering services for free, Facebook, Twitter and Google profit immensely from companies that advertise in their platforms to take advantage of their respective systems and algorithms to also generate
“The Philippines is the world’s social media capital despite its relatively slower Internet.
The social media platforms’ political influence can also be abused and manipulated via posts that escape vetting and policing. Spreading propaganda through them is very much alive.
As they resolve flawed internal policies and programs, taxing Facebook and other social media platforms in the Philippines would be reparation for all the damage they are inflicting on our country’s democracy.
Google’s YouTube has allowed the proliferation of influencers without being transparent on how much these individuals earn from their own channels.
The BIR should, therefore, create a digital team that would look into the economic ecology of influencers and how collaborations and connections can create more wealth not only to users but to Google as well. The government should have a slice of that pie to distribute to people who are socially immobile due to the pandemic.
TikTok should not be exempted from taxation as localized advertisements are now being run on the world’s biggest social media platform. It is only a matter of time before Tiktok influencers generate enough financial incentives while escaping paying the government its due.
Digital taxation is a novel concept, but it is essential because revenue sources are limited and businesses are not operating as they used to prior to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Tech capitalists, meanwhile, are using freedom of speech to escape paying taxes and being held accountable for whatever fake news, propaganda or hate views are expressed through them.
The Philippines is the world’s social media capital despite its relatively slower Internet.
Statista.com estimates users from our country will reach 90 million by 2025.
If the BIR ignores the potential revenue that the government can use to help poor Filipinos, it will pressure more local entrepreneurs to cough up more money and may result in multiple bankruptcies.
We must hold digital companies based outside the Philippines accountable financially and for them to really crack down on their allowing the spread of hatred and fake news.
social media platforms’ political influence can also be abused and manipulated via posts that escape vetting and policing. Spreading propaganda through them is very much alive.