M Update, 22/2/2019 – The government is looking into the possibility to introduce new legislation or a parliamentary committee to curb misuse of social media which, if left unaddressed, can cause uncontrolled spread of hatred and extremist ideologies.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said it was high time for such a system be created to ensure the spread of false information would not be too rampant to the extent of causing disharmony and chaos. According to the minister, several countries namely the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Singapore had taken the same path to regulate or control social media all over the world.
The government is looking into several proposals, not only to have new legislation but also on how we can create an industry where there is a regulation to ensure that before any report can be spread on social media, there will be a system to ascertain whether it is a factual or false report. He also inform that the things will take some time and they also will announce the decision whether there will be a new bill to be tabled at the Parliament or not but they need a time to looked at that.
Earlier in his speech, Gobind stressed out on why legislative and other important measures such as strengthening media professionalism, ethical journalism and to push for the establishment of self-regulatory frameworks and mechanisms are pivotal to combat fake news and to handle the misuse of social media.
Besides that, he also inform that this would not just encourage more mature and responsible journalism but it is also enhance greater accountability and healthy checks and balances among media practitioners and their reports. He also hope that all the relevant parties and ministry can work together in order to achieve a system in which press freedom could be preserved and ensure responsible journalism in search for a balance needed for governance, media and human rights in Malaysia.
Sources : Bernama