A Regional Digital Counter-Messaging Communications Centre will soon begin operations in Malaysia. The centre, created with the help of US authorities, is designed to counter the flood of extremist propaganda that has been sweeping across the internet.
The Putrajaya based centre is the second of its kind, with the first built in Dubai. It will be staffed by religious and IT experts who will engage people on social media to counter recruitment efforts by the Islamic State.
“Radicalisation is being spread through social media, thus these experts can help to counter such messages on the same platform,” said Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar at the 36th Asean Chiefs of Police (Aseanapol) Conference.
The centre was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last October. It is part of an initiative by the United States of America to counter the strength of Islamic State propaganda on the internet.
While the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission already works to clamp down on the Islamic State’s online presence, it had previously admitted that it is unable to keep up the social media prowess of the terrorist group. Internet giants like Twitter and Facebook have also been having trouble playing whack-a-mole against the thousands of IS accounts that keep popping up.
The US is supporting the new regional centre by providing training, equipment, and an operational approach. Whether it will be enough to counter the threat of IS in the ASEAN region is as of yet unknown; but it will assuredly be a boost to anti-terrorism efforts.
[Source: The Star]