MIRI: The unhealthy trend of using social media to post exaggerated or fake news is rising in Sarawak.
Since January, the Sarawak police have already arrested 10 Facebook account holders throughout the state for contravening the Multimedia and Communications Act.
“This is a cause for concern,” said Sarawak Criminal Investigation Department head Senior Asst Comm Datuk Dev Kumar.
“Despite repeated warnings to the public to refrain from abusing their freedom when using social media, we are seeing an increase in cases of netizens posting exaggerated and fake news.
He reiterated that there was a need to put a stop to the trend of posting derogatory and defamatory comments and fake news, as these could jeopardise the peace in the community.
“We view these cases with concern. We want to warn the public that it is only a matter of time that the police will track down and nab those who abuse the social media,” he told Metro Sabah and Sarawak.
SAC Dev was commenting on the latest case of an irresponsible Facebook posting that created public anxiety here.
The Miri police arrested a 23-year-old man for posting false claims of a rape-murder case on a Facebook page targeting the Miri community.
Miri police chief Asst Comm Khoo Leng Huat said the youth was arrested at about midnight on Wednesday.
“He is under investigation for posting fake news online which is an offence under the Multimedia and Communications Act.
“This is a warning to everyone against spreading false information,” ACP Khoo said.
He said the police immediately investigated the claims that had spread rapidly.
“Our investigation found that the claims were untrue,” he said.
The baseless post claimed that a woman was raped and murdered behind a fast food restaurant near a housing estate about 2km from the city centre on Tuesday night.
The allegation widely shared on cyberspace had caused worry among the public here.