Minister tells MCMC to ask Facebook, Google and Twitter to block ‘false info’

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. — File pic
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. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will ask social media giants such as Facebook, Google and Twitter soon to block “false information and rumours” on their platforms, a minister said today.

According to newly-appointed Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, Malaysia has outlawed the spread of false and unverified information, and making them accessible to the public is a breach of the laws.

“I have instructed the MCMC to meet social media platform providers—Facebook, Google and Twitter soon to seek their cooperation to stem the increasing tide of false information and rumours from spreading via their social media applications

“Although these three social media platform providers have been cooperating with various Malaysian authorities, the level of cooperation needs to be stepped up,” Salleh wrote on his blog.

He did not specify where and when the meetings will take place.

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.

“While social media providers have been cooperative, we are requesting them to be more sensitive with our local environment,” he added.

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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