IPOH, Feb 26 — The Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD) will focus on addressing the problem of fake news and misinformation on social media following the increase in reported cases this year.
Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching said in January alone, 35 cases were investigated under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, compared to 48 throughout last year.
“From 2020 until January this year, 444 cases were investigated and we can see there has indeed been an increase since the beginning of this year, so looking at the trend, we reckon that 350 cases will be investigated.
“I hope Malaysians are more digitally literate and will not make false statements or inappropriate content. How to control fake news and hate speech is going to be KKD’s focus.
“We will look into this to ensure social stability and harmony,” she told reporters during a walkabout at Perak Stadium food court in conjunction with her working visit to the state today.
Teo said KKD agencies including Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) and the Information Department are responsible for ensuring that information disseminated is accurate and those misleading are immediately retracted to prevent the spread of fake news.
“At the same time, the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will work with social media platform providers to help take it down contents that are inaccurate.
“When we come across fake news or hate speech, we will inform the social media providers and seek their cooperation not to allow the content to go viral.
“Most importantly, hate speech should not be given a platform or opportunity in social media because it will be a threat to national security,” she said.
Meanwhile, the RM10 million allocation in operating grants to strengthen the role of the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) announced in the 2023 Budget will allow for improvements to effectively block the outflow of money from victims of online fraud.
Teo said the NSRC acts as a local response centre that combines resources and expertise from the National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC), CyberSecurity Malaysia, the police, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), MCMC, banking institutions and telecommunications companies to receive reports from victims of online fraud.
“The main thing is we want to stop money from flowing out of the country because oftentimes the victims cannot get back their savings, so now, if a case happens within 24 hours and the bank is informed they can block the money,” she said.