KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 91 cases involving the dissemination and publication of fake news on social media were recorded last year.
The communications and multimedia ministry said of the total, 54 cases were resolved while 11 cases were brought to court for further action.
The number also saw a 12.5% decline compared with the previous year due to the cross-coordination approach implemented by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) with various government agencies to counter the dissemination of fake news.
“In 2017, MCMC took action against 3,721 fake accounts, identified in various social media platforms.
“Nearly 80% of them have been deleted from social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter,” the ministry said in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat today.
It was in response to a question from Ewon Ebin (BN-Ranau) who wanted to know the actions taken against individuals who posted seditious and libellous postings on the country’s leaders through print, electronic and social media.
The ministry also said that although Section 3 (3) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988 (Act 588) provided a guarantee of internet access by the government, it should not be abused by any party to commit an offence without regard to the law.
“The existing provisions of the law such as the Defamation Act 1957, the Sedition Act 1948, the Computer Crimes Act 1997, the Copyright Act 1987 and Act 588 may be used for the purpose of enforcing laws relating to the offence of dissemination of fake news, instigating hatred and spreading slanderous contents,” it said.