PORTAL TO WEED OUT FAKE NEWS
Will let public know if news item is genuine or not
FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR CYBERJAYA email@example.com
THE public can now check the authenticity of news through sebenarnya.my, an information verification portal. The newly launched portal is an initiative by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to quash the spread of fake information on new media.
Through this portal, Internet users can check and report news items that have not been authenticated, either through social media, short messaging services (SMS), blogs or websites, so that they can be verified by official channels or relevant government agencies.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the portal was part of the government’s efforts to combat the spread of false news which was becoming rampant.
“The digital-era society of today relies too much on the Internet to communicate and obtain information. Studies by the MCMC showed that Malaysians spent three hours in their daily life to surf the Internet.
“However, many fake news have become viral on social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp, and some Internet users take it literally and share them without verifying.
“This is because they are keen to be the first one to share the information. Thus, we decided to come up with the sebenarnya.my portal, a one-stop centre for the public to check whether the news is genuine or not,” he said after launching the portal at the MCMC here yesterday.
The portal will focus on local news touching on public interest and national issues.
Salleh said false news could jeopardise national harmony and security as it could sabotage the economy and create chaos in society.
“Some may see this as a small matter, but fake news has a big impact on the country. For instance, an Internet user spreads news that a popular figure had passed away, whereas it is a hoax. When this information goes viral, it may cause chaos and panic in the community, especially the family members.
“This is just one of the many examples of the effects of hoax. We want the public to be smart and wise before they spread any information.
“We hope the portal will educate Malaysians to only accept valid news, not just digest all news literally.”
The move is also part of enforcement and awareness activities undertaken by the MCMC to prevent the spread of false news.
Upon submitting reports on the news items to sebenarnya.my, the MCMC will get verification from the agencies involved and update whether the information is true or otherwise.
The MCMC will also collaborate with relevant parties, including government agencies and credible media practitioners to dismiss false news.
Last year, a total of 4,333 complaints on the misuse of new media were reported to the MCMC. Of the total, 36 were spreading hoaxes.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak speaking at the launch of online verification portal at the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in Cyberjaya yesterday.