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Sunday, 10 August 2014 | MYT 10:03 PM

Why not register Facebook users, says USM lecturer

KUALA LUMPUR: The government should consider registering all Facebook users in the country with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to ease identification.

Universiti Sains Malaysia senior lecturer Assoc Prof Mohamad Md Yusoff said the move was more apt than shutting down access to the social website to prevent abuse.

"At present, with cases such as insulting Islam, (Yang di-Pertuan) Agong and numerous baseless allegations made on Facebook, it is quite difficult to track down the culprits, especially when they can easily get away with excuses of their account being hacked, fake account or outside server," he told Bernama.

Last Friday, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was reported as saying that the government would study the necessity to bar access to Facebook following cases of abuse.

He said the ministry was conducting studies to gather public views on the matter.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah senior lecturer Saat Awang Damit said the registration of users with MCMC would create a society of responsible Facebook users in the country.

He said only responsible users were capable of making fair comments and share their views in a sensible manner without causing misunderstanding or spreading false information.

Saat's view was shared by his colleague, Dr Haryati Abdul Karim, who said that it was not apt for the government to shut down access to Facebook just because of a few users.

Haryati proposed that a law similar to the Anti-Hate Speech Law be introduced to prevent people from uttering words that ignite hate or insult any race, religion, ethnicity and citizenship.

The Anti-Hate Speech Law, adopted in European countries, such as Denmark, France, Netherlands and United Kingdom, is also aimed at preventing people from being irresponsible and abusing social websites to make harsh and false statements in a bid to ignite the fire of hate.

Related article:

Netizens irked by government proposal to study ban on Facebook


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