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Practise self-censorship on the Internet, minister urges

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Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak has once again called for caution among netizens before sharing unverified information.

"It is impractical and difficult to monitor or control a user’s access to the mass amount of content found online.

"So it is left to us, the user, to exercise self-censorship and to verify all news shared over our social media feeds," Salleh said in a blog post.

He said irresponsible posts can create unnecessary confusion, anxiety and, in some extreme cases, panic and fear among the general populace.

"Uploading and sharing unverified news can also land you into trouble, so be careful when hitting the ‘Share’ or ‘Retweet’ button the next time some sensationalised news pops up on your Timeline," he said.

Among others, Salleh cited a false story about an extortion case said to have taken place somewhere in Sarikei; as well as a viral posting on alleged 'body snatching' cases at longhouses in Bintulu, Tatau and Mukau, Sarawak.

'Don't blindly click, like and share'

He noted that investigations by the police later showed that the incidents did not take place and that “irresponsible people are trying to scare the people in Bintulu”.

"In conclusion, don’t blindly click, like and share things that you see on your newsfeed, without fully understanding the details behind the headlines or the truth about the story," he said.

Putrajaya has been criticised over its increasing hold over the Internet, including censorship of news sites and blogs, by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

Last month, inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar said police would be monitoring, detecting and taking action against those who abuse social websites, including disseminating pictures or sharing irresponsible information.

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