KOTA KINABALU, May 17 — Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil believes that there is an organised movement by certain parties to disseminate false information on social media platforms, especially on Facebook, to create unrest among the public.

However, he said the ministry has yet to receive detailed information as to whether the movement is indeed organised or if there is a collusion among those involved.

Citing the recent issue that went viral about a pizza company’s receipt allegedly containing words deemed insulting to Islam, Fahmi said at least 15 different accounts were found to have shared the image of the receipt but the postings contained incorrect wording and spelling of the company’s name.

“It seems that there are parties deliberately creating numerous fake accounts, they are disseminating (fake information) to sow unrest in society.

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“I have asked the MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) to identify and cooperate with the police to call up the individuals suspected (of being involved) in the organised dissemination of fake news to have their statements recorded,” he said.

He told reporters this after officiating the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2024 celebration here today.

Fahmi also said that the government, through MCMC, does not monitor nor record comments or messages in user conversations on WhatsApp as alleged by certain parties.

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He said the WhatsApp application uses end-to-end encryption technology that does not allow the recording of user conversations using the application.

“This (allegation) has cropped up before and has resurfaced and it is not true,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi said there is a need to hold online safety campaigns for children and families at the national, state and district levels.

He said the campaign is necessary because, although there are guidelines limiting children under 13 from having social media accounts, there is no strong action to prevent them from setting up their own accounts.

“We will cooperate with all parties, including the telecommunication companies, the police and state governments, to carry out the campaign nationwide,” he said, adding that the programme is expected to be implemented in August. — Bernama