The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has revealed that it has blocked 52 websites since January. It has also investigated 14 cases of social media abuse during the same time. This new effort to regulate the internet comes from the setting up of the Special Committee to Combat Abuse of Social Media, which was established early this year.
The committee is chaired by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak and includes the Royal Malaysia Police, MCMC and the Attorney-General’s Chambers as members. According to Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari, its aim is to strengthen the internet and new media regulatory mechanism in the country.
In addition to this, the committee has enlisted the help of internet giants Facebook and Google in combating social media abuse. Jailani did not elaborate on how these companies are cooperating with the government.
“The ministry also cooperates with the coordinator of new media platforms such as Facebook and Google in the aspect of investigations for cases of misuse of social media, because we know of the existing challenges of interpretation of Malaysian laws and laws in the countries where those platforms operate,” he said.
Speaking during during Question Time in Parliament, Jailani said that the MCMC is currentbly blocking some 399 websites for various reasons. These include those on gambling, cheating and prostitution, contain pornographic content, put up in bad taste or share fake news. In addition to this, the MCMC is also currently investigation 22 cases of social media abuse (of which were the 14 cases brought up this year).