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CYBERJAYA – The portal where people can check the accuracy of any information that has been spread will soon be extended into social media like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram beginning this year, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

He said the move to increase its reach and shareability of information on the portal aims to reach more members of the public and social media users in the country.

“This will provide more channels of information to tackle fake or unverified news in the country, especially on the social media platform,” he said when launching the application at an appreciation ceremony for strategic partners of the portal here today.

Salleh said the application, which could now be downloaded for free on Android through Google Play Store, will hopefully make it easy for the public to verify the information they get.

“Right now, all sorts of information are shared online such as on Whatsapp and we habitually do not check it, and then we pass it on to others. So I hope this application will help resolve this,” he said,.

Salleh said since it was launched in March last year, the portal has recorded 25 million hits with an average of two million each month.

He said this figure was a positive indicator that there was increasing awareness among members of the public of the need to check, analyse and verify news they received.

“I want to stress that fake news is the nation’s enemy. It can be seen as psychological warfare aimed at duping people to believe that the false news is true,” he said.

Meanwhile, at a separate press conference, Chief Operating Officer of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Datuk Dr Mazlan Ismail said the body had opened an official Facebook account and will do the same on other social media platforms soon.

“Previously, we only had a portal and did not fully utilise the social media platforms. From now on, we will expand on the social media as well as through the application which we launched today,” he said.

Mazlan also said that last year the MCMC opened 40 investigation papers related to the spread of fake news, with four cases brought to court.

He added that during the same period, the MCMC also blocked 34 websites, portals and blogs for spreading content or false news. – BERNAMA

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