KL clamping down on fake social media accounts

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak calls on netizens who come across suspected fake accounts or those publishing fake news or information to report it to the social media platform concerned.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak calls on netizens who come across suspected fake accounts or those publishing fake news or information to report it to the social media platform concerned.PHOTO: THE STAR

BERA (PAHANG) - Malaysia's multimedia watchdog has taken action against almost 1,500 fake accounts on various social media platforms between January and June this year, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.

He said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had received complaints against such fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, which were used for "negative" purposes, such as dissemination of fake news and content.

"The false information was about political issues and about politicians in this country," he told reporters after opening the Bera Umno division delegates conference in Pahang yesterday.

Datuk Seri Salleh, who is also Umno treasurer, said the MCMC's actions included reporting the accounts involved to the social media platform providers for the removal of these accounts. The watchdog will also carry out further investigations.

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Malaysia's government is generally tolerant of online criticism, but periodically swoops in on netizens deemed to be disseminating "fake news" or "negative" news against government leaders.

Mr Salleh called on netizens who come across suspected fake accounts or those publishing fake news or information to report it to the social media platform concerned.

He said the MCMC was also studying options to get the online media to register with MCMC, according to certain set criteria.

"Any portal or website which can be categorised as online media needs to be registered so that they can be monitored and action taken against them if they report fake or malicious news," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2017, with the headline 'KL clamping down on fake social media accounts'. Print Edition | Subscribe