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WhatsApp and Facebook are the main sources of fake news for Malaysians

Spread of fake news is linked to fake accounts, more than 4,000 of which the government has tackled over the last year

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 2:08pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 8:39am

The majority of Malaysians get fake or unverified news via WhatsApp, followed by Facebook, blogs and other sources, Malaysian’ upper house of Parliament the Dewan Negara was told.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said, analysis conducted by the Malaysian Communications Multimedia Commission (MCMC), showed that the majority of Malaysians get fake or unverified news via WhatsApp (84 per cent), Facebook (eight per cent), while blogs and other sources come in at four per cent, respectively.

He said the dissemination of fake news is closely linked to the usage of fake accounts.

He said, among the actions taken by MCMC to address the issue include action against 4,358 fake accounts from January last year until February this year.

“About 80 per cent of these accounts have been deleted by social media platform providers namely Facebook and Twitter, for violating the terms and conditions as stipulated by the providers.

“MCMC had also blocked 40 websites, portals and blogs that disseminated fake news and information.

“In the corresponding period, a total of 45 investigation papers were opened by MCMC, involving various social media platforms, with four cases were brought to court,” he said in response to Senator Datuk Seri Khairudin Samad during the question-and-answer session.

Khairudin had asked on plans by the government to address issues related to the spread of fake information and news, which is becoming rampant in the country.

Salled said MCMC also had launched the portal on March 14 last year, for the public to check and report news items that haven not been authenticated.

“So far, the feedback has been very encouraging, with 25 million hits on total, averaging two million hits per month,” he said.

* Reports by Mohd Anwar Patho Rohman, Hidir Reduan, Luqman Arif Abdul Karim, Nor Ain Mohamed Radhi and Ahmad Suhael Adnan

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