172 ‘fake news’ cases under investigation, says minister

Communications minister Saifuddin Abdullah has urged the public to fact-check before sharing Covid-19 information.

MELAKA: A total of 266 investigation papers have been opened regarding the spread of fake news related to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said 172 cases are still under investigation, 30 cases have been taken to court, 13 cases are at the hearing stage, 17 cases resulted in the accused persons pleading guilty, and the rest are in the early stage of action.

“We have had to issue denials and statements for every piece of fake news spread and for some cases, we needed to take joint legal action with the police.

“We have to do this to prevent confusion and anxiety in the community. I would like to appeal to Malaysians to stop spreading fake news; verify first before forwarding and sharing,” he added.

He said this in an interview with RTM Melaka on a visit to the station today. Saifuddin said 348 clarifications had been made to provide the correct information for issues which had gone viral.

The ministry also has a quick response team which works almost round the clock to monitor and counter false news.

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