Ministry says 91 cases of ‘fake news’ recorded last year

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A total of 91 cases involving the dissemination and publication of "fake news" on social media were recorded last year, according to the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

The ministry said of the total, 54 cases were resolved, while 11 cases have been brought to court for further action.

The number also saw a 12.5 percent decline compared to the previous year due to the cross-coordination approach implemented by the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) with various government agencies to counter the dissemination of "fake news."

“In 2017, MCMC took action against 3,721 fake accounts identified in various social media platforms, and nearly 80 percent of them had been deleted from social media platform providers such as Facebook and Twitter,” the ministry said in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat today.

This was in response to a question from Ewon Ebin (BN-Ranau) who wanted to know the actions taken against individuals who posted allegedly seditious and libellous postings on the country’s leaders through print, electronic and social media.

The ministry also stressed that although Section 3(3) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 provided the guarantee of internet access by the government, it should not be abused by any party to commit an offence without regard of the law.

“The existing provisions of the law such as the Defamation Act 1957, the Sedition Act 1948, the Computer Crimes Act 1997, the Copyright Act 1987 and CMA may be used for the purpose of enforcing laws relating to the offence of dissemination of fake news, instigating hatred and spreading slanderous contents,” it said.

- Bernama