Curb on fake news to safe­guard di­ver­sity, har­mony in Malaysia — Salleh

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KUALA LUMPUR: Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has called on all Malaysians to help de­fend the coun­try from fake news or ac­counts which have bad in­tent, and are defam­a­tory or sedi­tious in na­ture.

“Re­spect in our di­ver­sity and har­mony must be strength­ened as a Malaysian way of life,” he said in his lat­est post on his blog yes­ter­day.

He said it was time for peo­ple to make full use of ini­tia­tives like the sebe­ por­tal and make it a habit to check the au­then­tic­ity of the news first be­fore shar­ing it with oth­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Salleh, the Malaysian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Com­mis­sion (MCMC) had taken ac­tion against 3,047 fake ac­counts on var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms iden­ti­fied between Jan­uary and Septem­ber, this year.

He noted that al­most 80 per cent of 3,047 fake ac­counts had been deleted by so­cial me­dia plat­forms such as Face­book and Twit­ter for vi­o­lat­ing the terms and con­di­tions set by the re­spec­tive providers.

Even In­ter­net gi­ants like Face­book, Twit­ter, and Google China’s Baidu Inc. were co­op­er­at­ing with govern­ment as they were con­stantly pres­sured to im­prove on their al­go­rithms by us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of tech­nol­ogy and con­tent au­tho­ri­sa­tion to min­imise fake news, he said.

“Let us re­mind our­selves if we come across sus­pected fake ac­counts or fake news or in­for­ma­tion, we should use the ‘ re­port’ fa­cil­ity pro­vided by the rel­e­vant so­cial me­dia con­cerned, so that the ac­tion can be taken as soon as prac­ti­ca­ble. We can also re­port to the MCMC of such acts.

“Sec­tion 233 of the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Act 1998 ( CMA 98) makes it an of­fence ‘ to make or cre­ate con­tent that is ob­scene, in­de­cent, false, men­ac­ing or of­fen­sive in na­ture’,” he added. — Ber­nama

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