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More needs to be done to combat misinformation, disinformation- Gobind

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KUALA LUMPUR: Minister of Communications and Information Gobind Singh Deo has lauded Facebook’s initiatives in supporting his ministry’s efforts in tackling misinformation and disinformation.

“These efforts range from resources designed to help people think critically and share responsibly, as well as help them to better understand and more easily control what they see on social media, to working with third-party fact-checkers to tackle misinformation,” he said.

Misinformation refers to false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.

Disinformation is false information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organisation to a rival power or the media.

He said the government recognised that social media providers have done a lot of work on user generated content (UGC) to counter child pornography, terrorism and hate speech.

 “The challenge now is to address the diversity in UGC content that would include local contexts for each country which has its own areas of concern,” he said at the opening of Facebook Malaysia’s new expanded office at Q Sentral here today.

Prime Minister Tun Dr  Mahathir Mohamad officiated the opening of the office.

Gobind said that while there is some form of recognition of the need to urgently deal with hate speech, there are also other forms of expressions which may pose threats to the nation’s stability, harmony and national security.

“The free flow of information can be a good thing but it can also be abused,” he  said.

He said it is commendable when it is used to connect people and communities to achieve acts for the greater good but unfortunately, it can also be used to incite hate, violence and spread false news and misinformation.

“My Ministry plays a key role…in ensuring that everyone can use social media platforms safely and responsibly, but that is easier said than done,” he added.

 Gobind  said his ministry also looked forward to working more closely with Facebook, particularly in the area of Community Standards Enforcement.

Meanwhile, Gobind hoped that Facebook will continue to explore opportunities to work with local businesses and communities to create a more connected world.

He said with Facebook’s enhanced presence and commitment in Malaysia, as evidenced by the new expanded office here, it is a key step towards helping to improve the digital skills of Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), empower them to grow their businesses and connect with the rest of the world through education, insights and tools to succeed.

— BERNAMA

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