Govt launches '' to combat false news (Updated)

14 Mar 2017 / 19:25 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The government has launched the SEBENARNYA.MY portal, an information verification portal, in its effort to combat the spread of false news in the country.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the portal, developed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), is among the efforts undertaken by the government in putting a stop to the spread of false news that is becoming more rampant of late.

“Through the portal, the public will not only be able to verify the authenticity of news items they received either through social media, SMS, blogs or websites, they can also report dubious news items to the portal to have it verified by official channels or the relevant government agencies involved,” he said during the portal's launch yesterday.

He added that all related information would be gathered, analysed, validated and uploaded to the portal for reference by the public regardless of their political background.

“Until now, there have been more than 4,333 complaints relating to social media abuse and out of it, 36 complaints are on the spread of false news.

"False news not only confuses but could also threaten security, prosperity and the well-being of the people and country.
"This does not only happen in Malaysia but also in the United States, Indonesia and the European countries," he said.
He added that spreading false news is a violation under Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998 where those found guilty could be fined up to RM50,000 or face a maximum jail term of one year or both.
Stressing that the SEBENARNYA.MY portal bore the main message of "Not Sure, Don't Share", Salleh said: "Do not read and accept any news completely without verification."

"We don't want the public to share news with the excuse that it was received from another group and seeking explanation," he said.

Salleh stressed that curbing the spread of false news should be a joint effort of the government and people.

The government, he said, had carried out various programmes and campaigns such as "Klik dengan Bijak" (Click Wisely) and "Semak sebelum Sebar" (Check before Disseminating) to efficiently curb the spread of false news.

"However, the ministry and MCMC also view that the awareness programme needs to be accompanied by initiatives to enable the public to check and report on unverified news that they received," he said.

Salleh said that the portal was not geared towards the coming 14th general election or to curtail the freedom of expression of any quarters.

"The SEBENARNYA.MY portal is not just meant for political news, but all types of information received from the social media, blogs and other sources can be checked, verified and shared.

"This portal is created not because of the general election and is not owned by the government alone. This portal is for the people. The opposition too can use this portal to obtain valid news," he said.

thesundaily_my Sentifi Top 10 talked about stocks