Google Malaysia keeps mum on Putrajaya’s request to block ‘false info’

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak instructed MCMC to meet with Google, Facebook and Twitter over errant social media posts. — File pic
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak instructed MCMC to meet with Google, Facebook and Twitter over errant social media posts. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Google Malaysia declined today to comment on a minister’s directive for local regulators to press the firm to “step up” co-operation in blocking social media posts, saying only that it was in regular contact with authorities.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak today said he has instructed the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to meet with Google, Facebook and Twitter over errant social media posts.

“We have a good, longstanding working relationship with MCMC and we’re always in discussion and conversation,” a Google spokesman told Malay Mail Online.

Google also said it has already used its community guidelines in addition to local laws as cited by MCMC in dealing with takedown requests and complaints on video sharing platform YouTube.

It also explained that most of the requests from MCMC have been for YouTube, since its other products, such as the Blogspot blogging platform, do not use the Malaysia.com.my domain address.

Salleh said earlier today that he had directed MCMC to meet the social media giants soon to block “false information and rumours” on their platforms, saying Malaysia has outlawed the spread of false and unverified information, and making them accessible to the public is a breach of the laws.

Salleh said that social media providers acted on 78 per cent of MCMC’s request for removal of content last year, with Facebook taking action on around 81 per cent of its request.

As at July 2015, Salleh said 49 per cent of its requests have been obliged this year, with YouTube taking action on 33 per cent of the requests, and Facebook 42 per cent.

Since his appointment in the hasty Cabinet reshuffle announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last week, Salleh has proposed amending the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and the MCMC Act 1998.

Salleh admitted earlier this month that the amendments are needed since Putrajaya has failed to fully stop the public from accessing sites such as whistleblowers Sarawak Report, despite the blocks put in place by MCMC.

Citing “national stability,” the MCMC had last month ordered all Internet service providers in Malaysia to block access to Sarawak Report’s website, pending a multi-agency taskforce’s investigation on corruption claims involving the controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Putrajaya had previously pledged to ensure no censorship of the Internet in one of the Bills of Guarantee while forming the MSC Malaysia special economic zone in 1996.

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