A legislator has sought to declare “ghosting” as an emotional abuse.
Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves, in filing House Bill 611,“ cited “adverse effects” of ghosting to one’s mental and emotional state.
The bill defines ghosting as the act of cutting off all forms of communication, which Teves said can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting to the “ghosted” person.
“Studies have shown that social rejection of any kind activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain, meaning there’s a biological link between rejection and pain,” the bill’s explanatory note said.
Teves said ghosting — which happens once a person is engaged in a dating relationship – “is a form of spite that develops feelings of rejection and neglect.”
“Ghosting has adverse effects on the mental state of the one being ghosted and his or her emotional state is still adversely affected as he or she will be constantly thinking of the welfare or the unexplained reasons of the one who ghosted,” Teves said.
Teves’ bill does not recommend any penalty for the offense.
Teves cited the need for Congress to enact the measure, stressing “the ambiguity with ghosting is that there is no real closure between the parties concerned and as such, it can be likened to a form of emotional cruelty and should be punished as an emotional offense because of the trauma it causes to the ‘ghosted’ party.”
Meanwhile, Teves also filed a bill mandating the authentication of online and social media memberships identities.
House Bill 129 seeks “to avoid malicious acts committed in cyberspace,” such as cyber bullying, harassment, online scams, and libel, he said.
Once enacted, the measure shall require public and private entities to submit themselves to a mandatory authentication process to verify their website and/or social media accounts, all in the name of holding people accountable for their actions online.
The authentication process shall be done through registration of their accounts using any valid government-issued identification and/or barangay certificate.
“Through a registrations process, netizens will be given government-issued numbers that they will then have to use to verify their social media accounts to be able to use its services,” Teves said in his bill.