Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo today lauded Facebook’s initiatives in supporting his ministry’s efforts in tackling misinformation and disinformation.
"These efforts range from resources designed to help people think critically and share responsibly, as well as help them to better understand and more easily control what they see on social media, to working with third-party fact-checkers to tackle misinformation," he said.
Gobind said the government recognised that social media providers have done a lot of work on user-generated content to counter child pornography, terrorism and hate speech.
"The challenge now is to address the diversity in user-generated content that would include local contexts for each country which has its own areas of concern,” he said at the opening of Facebook Malaysia’s new expanded office at Q Sentral in Kuala Lumpur today.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad officiated the opening of the office.
Gobind said that while there is some form of recognition of the need to urgently deal with hate speech, there are also other forms of expressions which may pose threats to the nation’s stability, harmony and national security.
“The free flow of information can be a good thing but it can also be abused."
The minister it is commendable when it is used to connect people and communities to achieve acts for the greater good but unfortunately, it can also be used to incite hate, violence and spread false news and misinformation.
"My ministry plays a key role... in ensuring that everyone can use social media platforms safely and responsibly, but that is easier said than done,” he added.
Gobind said his ministry also looked forward to working more closely with Facebook, particularly in the area of community standards enforcement.
Meanwhile, he hoped that Facebook will continue to explore opportunities to work with local businesses and communities to create a more connected world.
He said with Facebook’s enhanced presence and commitment in Malaysia, as evidenced by the new expanded office here, it is a key step towards helping to improve the digital skills of Malaysian SMEs, empower them to grow their businesses and connect with the rest of the world through education, insights and tools to succeed.