CYBERJAYA • Malaysia's multimedia watchdog has launched a website to allow citizens to check the authenticity of information spread through social media and to counter fake news.
Called Sebenarnya ("actually" in Malay), it was launched on Tuesday by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
"False news not only confuses, but could also threaten security, prosperity and the well-being of the people and country," said Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak at the launch.
"This does not only happen in Malaysia, but also in the United States, Indonesia and European countries," he said, adding that the Sebenarnya site will ensure members of the public receive only "real news".
The minister also said that the communications and multimedia commission had identified nearly 1,000 false news items of public interest being spread in the country.
He said such items and related information would be gathered, analysed, validated and uploaded to the news site, sebenarnya.my, for reference by the public regardless of their political background.
For example, the site's lead item posted last Saturday said in Malay: "Fake: Viral post on social media claims that a Malaysian military personnel was hurt by an explosion.
"Actually: The army denied reports that its soldier was hit by a bomb, with the photo that went viral having been snapped at a ceremony marking the end of a medical course in Syed Sirajuddin Camp in Gemas."