Twitter Join Forces With CIJ, Lawyers For Liberty, & Suhakam To Protect Freedom Of Expression

The #ThereIsHelp notification service and Freedom of Expression Search Prompt is available in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
(credit: Markus Winkler / Unsplash | Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash)

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Twitter has expanded its #ThereIsHelp notification service and Freedom of Expression Search Prompt to Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. 

The prompt was first launched in Thailand last year.

As part of the initiative, in Malaysia, Twitter partnered up with the Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia (CIJ Malaysia), Lawyers for Liberty, and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM).

A notification will appear whenever people search keywords associated with freedom of expression on Twitter. The prompt will list resources related to freedom of expression and digital rights provided by the partner organisations.

As we navigate the ever-changing, dynamic political space and the pandemic in Malaysia, we continue to battle attempts by state and non-state actors that threaten and limit our freedom of expression and speech as well as our right to information.

The increase in both online and offline harassment, and attempts to silence those who speak up, demonstrate the urgent need to take action against these injustices.

CIJ Malaysia executive director, Wathshlah Naidu.

Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of a democratic country and while it is a part of our Federal Constitution, criminal charges continue to be brought against individuals who are simply exercising their right to free speech. Today, laws such as the Sedition Act and section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act are sometimes used in a way that discourages the rakyat from speaking their minds.

Lawyers for Liberty director, Zaid Malek.

Investigations against expressions of dissent may result in harassment and, if continued to be left unchecked, may create a long term impact where people are unable to exercise their right to freedom of expression in fear of legal repercussions.

SUHAKAM.

Today, Twitter has launched over 300 #ThereIsHelp prompts with 41 languages available in 106 markets around the world on a wide range of issues; including mental health and suicide prevention, vaccination, child sexual exploitation, COVID-19, gender-based violence, HIV and disaster response. 

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