Public should practice self-censorship on social media, says minister

Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said self-censorship was important to see that the information they received and believed were valid and not detrimental and disruptive to harmony in society and country. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said self-censorship was important to see that the information they received and believed were valid and not detrimental and disruptive to harmony in society and country. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KOTA BELUD, Dec 27 — Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak today called on the people to use their power of self-censorship to reject or accept any information posted on the social media. 

He said self-censorship was important to see that the information they received and believed were valid and not detrimental and disruptive to harmony in society and country.

“The important thing is, we should not be confused between news and views.  Views are people’s own and not necessarily accurate and our views could differ from each other’s. But news contain facts, the veracity of which are verified before being disseminated.

“People should not jump the gun when receiving reports that may not be true and even illogical. We have to see whether the information received is true or false and look at it from various sources and not just one source.”

Salleh said this after officiating at the Singgah Santai programme organised by his ministry, here, today where he also handed out school bags to pupils who will begin their new school session soon.

He was commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reminder to the people to be careful about spreading unverified information through the social media.

Najib cited a car fire incident in Taman Jaya which occurred due to a personal problem but went viral that it was caused by a bomb explosion. 

Salleh said by referring to various sources with regard to information received, the public could make comparisons before coming to a conclusion.  He said making unverified information viral would have a negative impact, because although it was later proven to be untrue, the damage was already done. 

He cited the case of a news portal reporting that Brunei Darussalam had banned Christmas celebrations in that country when it was not true, but the news had gone worldwide and the damage already done. 

Salleh also urged news portals, especially their editors, to uphold journalistic ethics and not to politicise issues which should not be politicised.

“To me, whether they are the established media or online media, they are bound by journalistic ethics. The editors and sub-editors too need to be ethical,” he said. — Bernama

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