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Effective approach needed to combat fake news - Expert

04 Aug 2020 / 08:00 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Accurate information, good narrative storytelling and law enforcement are the most effective approaches when it comes to fighting fake news and disinformation, say communications expert Datuk Dr Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff.

The president and chief executive officer of Emir Research said proper narrative is crucial to ensure that factually correct and accurate information can be quickly and effectively disseminated.

He said the government has played a good role, especially in dealing with fake news during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis which saw Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah play a vital role as the person to communicate and explain national current situations to fend off Covid-19’s fake news.

“In this Covid-19 pandemic, people are fed all kinds of information. It is only when Dr Noor Hisham starts to disseminate the facts, that these stories were found to be fake.

“Secondly, the narrative must be clear and not ambiguous, it should not be open to interpretation,“ said Rais while appearing as a guest on Bernama TV’s programme, ‘The Nation’, here yesterday.

The 30-minute talk program ‘Fake News: A Recent Term For An Old Phenomenon’ was hosted by Jessy Chahal.

On another note, Rais said law enforcement authorities must not exercise selective prosecution, even when it involves a person in power or a politician.

“If these people (politicians) are not answerable for their actions, then the public will expect the same treatment, and nobody will abide by the law,“ he said.

Crisis management analyst and news strategist Nordin Abdullah, who also appeared as a guest on the programme, agreed with Rais and said there was no need to implement harsh enforcement measures, especially when it involves race and religion.

“We really need to manage this thing very carefully because we do not want what happened in the past to happen again. This is very critical and very clear,“ he said. — Bernama

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