POR­TAL TO WEED OUT FAKE NEWS

Will let pub­lic know if news item is gen­uine or not

New Straits Times - - News -

FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR CY­BER­JAYA news@nst.com.my

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.

BERNAMA PIC

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.

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