New guidelines for online curated content landscape


Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia CEO Mediha Mahmood

KUALA LUMPUR: The Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (Content Forum) has introduced its inaugural supplementary guidelines, known as the online curated content (OCC) guidelines, which are set to reshape the landscape of OCC services available in the country.

The guidelines contain the best practices for OCC service providers.

Developed through extensive collaboration among industry leaders both local and international, it underscores the Content Forum’s dedication to nurturing a dynamic creative-content environment while ensuring compliance with Malaysian laws and regulations.

Content Forum chief executive officer Mediha Mahmood said: “These guidelines are designed as a supportive tool for both local and international service providers, enabling them to self-assess their programming quality and streamline compliance with Malaysian content standards.

“In line with our dedication to promoting self-regulation, we expect that these recommendations and best practices will further our ongoing mission to foster a creative, forward-thinking and inclusive content industry.”

The guidelines’ overarching principles encompass national and public interests, racial and religious sensitivities, as well as improved accessibility standards for persons with disabilities, she said.

Content Forum is an independent self-regulatory organisation registered under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as an industry forum designated by the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA 98) to oversee and promote self-regulation of content over the electronic networked medium.

Other key points covered by the guidelines include content classifications, safety features, ratings, and consumer advisory, content advertising and promotion, news and other factual content, consumer protection and feedback mechanisms, and collaborative engagement.

Content classifications are designed to aid parental guidance and allow for informed viewing choices, and service providers to exercise of self-classification.

Safety features, ratings and consumer advisory encompasses advocating for reasonable and clear safeguards to help viewers make informed content choices and use control measures.

Content advertising and promotion is where ensuring promotion material adhere to relevant content codes and regulations, with consideration of underage viewers.

News and other factual content relates to advocating for diverse perspectives, balanced presentations and factual accuracy.

Consumer protection and feedback mechanisms encourage consumer feedback mechanisms that are accessible, user-friendly, responsive and timely.

Lastly, collaborative engagement encompasses championing open dialogue and engagement among relevant stakeholders.

Stakeholders involved in drafting the OCC guidelines have praised the guidelines collaborative method.

“The dedication of the Content Forum and the working group underscores the power of industry cooperation in crafting meaningful guidelines,” said Astro group chief executive officer Euan Smith.

Echoing this sentiment was Zuraidah Mohd Yatim, general manager of regulatory affairs and intellectual property at Media Prima Bhd.

“The success of this collaborative policy-making process reflects the strength of industry unity in shaping responsible content practices,” she said.

The OCC guidelines also highlight how self-regulation can serve to elevate the industry.

“Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) has been a strong proponent of self-governance for online curated content,” said Clare Bloomfield, chief policy officer of AVIA.

“We are honoured to have been a part of Content Forum’s collaborative effort to deliver this OCC approach for Malaysia,” she added.

Meanwhile, Ruben Hattari, director of public policy, South-East Asia, for Netflix, pointed out that the establishment of the guidelines had the potential to resonate beyond Malaysian shores.

“The collective effort behind this monumental task is a true reflection of Malaysia’s progressive mindset and is worthy of emulation by other policymakers in the region,” he said.

The Content Forum consists of key players in the content industry such as advertisers, advertising agencies, broadcasters, content creators/distributors, audio text hosting services providers, Internet service providers and civic groups.

Aimed at facilitating self-regulation, which provides an additional layer of consumer protection that complements the legal framework, the Content Forum is committed to govern and promote the creation, distribution and consumption of electronic-networked content.

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