Malaysia govt wants social media giants to curb spread of false information

PETALING JAYA - Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is set to meet social media platform giants to seek their co-operation in stemming the rise of false information and rumours in the country.

Newly minted Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said although Twitter, Facebook and Google have been cooperating with the authorities but their co-operation needs to step up.

"I have instructed the MCMC to meet social media platform providers -- Facebook, Google and Twitter soon to seek their co-operation to stem the increasing tide of false information and rumours from spreading via their social media applications," he said in his blog on Monday.

Salleh said although it is possible for authorities to restrict access or block such applications, they will not do so as the majority of social media users are using such applications positively and not for negative purposes.

"However, this does not mean that the public can post information unchecked without respect or regard to the law.

"The online environment is not a lawless space and action can be taken against anyone found to have breached the law, including in the online space.

"Bear in mind that publishing or posting sensitive or unverified information might potentially spark an untoward situation likely to jeopardise public safety," reminded Salleh.

He said it is the obligation of the government to protect its people from harm, including threats posted in the social media and internet.

"As such, deeper co-operation from social media providers is vital in the public interest to help authorities to uphold the laws and keep citizens of this country safe from harm."