Gov’t May Regulate Social Media If It Becomes A Threat

Deputy Comms and Digital Minister said it may be necessary if stricter laws fail to deal with the growing problem.
(credit: dole777 on Unsplash)

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Previously, Fahmi Fadzil, the Communications and Digital Minister said the government does not engage in censorship or regulation of internet content by restricting the use of social media platforms or applications.

But legal action can be taken against an individual or party if they violate laws by uploading content or committing any action, rather than the platform they use. This news however, tells a different story.

The Star reports that during a session in Parliament, Teo Nie Ching, the Deputy Communications and Digital Minister, suggested that social media platforms that are considered harmful to the well-being of the nation may need to be regulated if stricter laws under the Communications and Multimedia Act fail to effectively address the issue.

The proposed amendments to Section 233 would increase the power of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to take action and also raise penalties under the Act.

Section 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act regulates offensive online content and both carry a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both upon conviction.

When asked if MCMC can close the fake accounts, Teo said the MCMC has no power to do so, but it can request providers such as Facebook or TikTok to shut it down.

However, she noted that the platform service providers may not be obligated to reveal the identity of the owners of fake accounts based on laws in their respective countries. Teo emphasized the need for mutual trust and engagement with social platform media providers to better address the situation in the country.

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