Saifuddin calls on local media to help fight rising threat of fake news

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a press conference on the Emergency Ordinance in Putrajaya March 12, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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PUTRAJAYA, July 11 — Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah today urged the media on various platforms, including television, radio, print and online, to intensify efforts to identify and uncover fake news.

In a statement, he hoped that the media would intensify efforts to raise awareness on the threat of fake news as well as measures to prevent such matters.

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According to him, there has been a significant increase in the spread of false information or news recently, whether about the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccination, health, social or political. The situation can cause confusion and concerns among the public and affect efforts to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic effectively.

“In the context of disseminating information, the media not only has the role of reporting authentic and accurate news but also protects the people from false news that could potentially undermine the government’s efforts in combating Covid-19 and preserving the country’s prosperity and stability,” he said.

Saifuddin said the media had cooperated with the government in combating fake news since the crisis began.

He said the government through the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM), as well as several agencies, acted proactively in curbing the increase in fake news, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among them is the monitoring by the ministry’s Quick Response Team since March last year which has debunked 464 fake news, he said.

He added that the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2) Ordinance 2021, was also enforced from March 2021 to prevent and take action against the spread of fake news about Covid-19 and health.

“I am confident in society’s maturity in evaluating fake news. Let’s work together to curb fake news,” he said. — Bernama

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