KUALA LUMPUR – The government needs to formulate a new legislation to control the flow of information in the social media, said Malaysian Government Retirees Association president Tan Sri Wan Mahmood Pawan Teh.
He said even though the Sedition Act and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998 had roles in monitoring the social media, they were inadequate following the uncontrolled dissemination of unverified information.
“The Sedition Act 1948 and MCMC Act cover a wide scope. Apart from monitoring social media, it is also responsible for the print and electronic media.
“So if a special law is promulgated specifically to filter information flow on the social media, at least defamatory and negative information would be controlled systematically,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
Wan Mahmood was commenting on the statement of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who expressed concern on the circulation of information via the social media including those with pornographic elements which could poison the mind of youths.
While conceding that communicating information via the social media was effective, Wan Mahmood said it could also be dangerous because there were no filtering process as practiced in the print and electronic media which had the expertise to ensure the authenticity of information.
“Apart from that, there is no gatekeeper in the social media which resulted in unverified or even false information being circulated in the wink of an eye to all and sundry who may believe them without obtaining further verifications,” he said.
Although social media users were free to discuss any issue without restrictions, Wan Mahmood said they should be careful as what was shared via the social media would spread fast and wide.
“As such, social media users should use the platform to only share accurate information and not to abuse it to incite unrest with sensitive issues such as those on religious and racial matters,” he said. – BERNAMA