KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Malaysians must resist the temptation to immediately share unverified news through social media platforms such as WhatsApp, said Alliance For Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
He said since 2017 when the authorities started monitoring fake news, a whopping 11,000 tipoffs were received by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
“Its portal, Sebenarnya.my has received no less than 203 million hits by the public anxious to know whether a particular news item was true or false and that is probably only the tip of the iceberg. The most prevalent fake news were issues related to governance, crime, health, consumerism and security,” he said in a statement today.
Lee said, fake news also undermines the trust in the traditional and serious news media, for example newspapers, radio and television.
“It imposes an unnecessary burden on journalists who will have to sieve and verify the truth of events before publishing the real news. This is an unnecessary burden on those working hard to keep the public correctly informed,” he said.
He added fake news is a modern-day scourge that is not likely to go away anytime soon and what is important for the public is to know is how to live with it and know how not be deceived by it.
“We already have Covid-19, economic woes, climate change and other issues to occupy our minds and energy, without having to dissipate these over fake news.
“If the news sounds rather outlandish, check with the several fact-check sites on the Internet. For Malaysian-generated news, check with Sebenarnya.my and when this portal says the news is fake, delete it at once,” he said. — Bernama