Prime Minister Najib Razak has advised Malaysians to be more diligent and careful when sharing news over the internet. Celebrating Safer Internet Day yesterday, the Prime Minister advised caution against the increasing number of online threats.
Najib commiserated over the number of incidents caused by the spread of false and misleading information on the internet, as well as the number of victims suffering from online scams. According to him, these incidents are damaging to the societal and economic progress of the nation.
The Prime Minister said that “it is imperative that we exercise extra caution when we maneuver the internet, and put in sufficient effort to authenticate information we receive before engaging any further action. Otherwise, our gullibility will expose us to manipulation by malicious party for the wrong reason. It makes us vulnerable.”
It’s no secret that the internet is a massively different landscape from what was first envisioned. The number of cyberthreats has increased exponentially, with criminals adopting technology to more effectively lie, cheat, and steal from unsuspecting victims.
While the statement on the Prime Minister’s official Facebook page did not specifically mention fake news, it seems to be concerned about the spread of unverified information over the internet. The public is urged to exercise due diligence in examining the authenticity of the information being received before sharing it on social media.
The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation is also running a Safer Internet Day campaign to curb the spread of fake news by asking people to selfie with specific slogans. Notably missing from the campaign page are instructions for actually identifying misleading content and fake news; which pretty much defeats the purpose of running the campaign in the first place. Whoever came up with the campaign also appears to lack an understanding of what viral content actually is.
[Source: Najib Razak (Facebook)]