KUALA LUMPUR — Social media has been hijacked to garner support for radical ideologies and to incite violent acts of terrorism, said Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Jailani Johari.
“If in the past we could manage crises by ensuring that only accurate and credible information gets disseminated, these days, riots can be started with one inflammatory post,” he said when opening the 52nd Meeting of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN COCI) here, today.
He said ease of access and speed were positive in terms of enhancing mutual understanding among ASEAN countries but does not distinguish between good and beneficial content and negative content like the philosophies that inflame the rise of violent extremism.
Jailani said the revolution of this information access had made the world a smaller place and it also had spread the proliferation of news, the sharing of ideas and contents.
“And everything happens at the speed of a click. Not only that, nowadays, everyone with a device is instantly a content generator. Sharing information is no longer in the hands of mainstream media, the power lies in new media,” he said.
Jailani said with the onset of technology, the culture and information environment had changed.
“I believe that we have taken the right approach in starting with the ASEAN Communication Master Plan that focuses on creating a shared community with opportunities and benefits for all.
“…and more recently, moving to a more proactive and focused approach when the ASEAN Leaders adopted the ASEAN Declaration on ‘Culture of Prevention’ (CoP) at the recent ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in the Philippines earlier in November,” he said.
The ASEAN CoP, among others emphasises understanding the root causes and consequences of violence, adopting a mindset change from a reactive to a preventive approach and inculcating shared values (peace, harmony, intercultural understanding, respect, trust, tolerance, inclusiveness, moderation, social responsibility, and diversity), said Jailani.
On the 52nd ASEAN-COCI organised by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and Tourism and Culture Ministry, which started yesterday and ends tomorrow, Jailani said that he hoped it would serve as a goodplatform for the delegates to exchange ideas for mutual benefit.
The ASEAN-COCI was set up in October 1978. Its aim is to promote effective cooperation in the fields of culture and information for the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding and solidarity among the peoples of ASEAN as well as in furthering regional development. The ASEAN-COCI has two sub-committees, one dealing with culture and the other with information. These sub-committees plan, implement and monitor projects approved and funded by the ASEAN-COCI.)