Salleh Said Keruak: Think twice before clicking that ‘Like’ button

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 17 Feb 2016

The leading social media company's mobile app and push into video attracted new advertisers and encouraged existing ones to spend more. It now has more than 1.7 billion monthly users, well ahead of any rivals. Its shares were up 5.4 percent in after-hours trading at $130.01, after hitting their highest since the company went public in 2012.

PETALING JAYA: Be careful with what you share on social media as it could land you or others in trouble, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

Dr Salleh raised concerns about the spread of unverified news when users blindly share and ‘like’ posts or images on the Internet, resulting in unwarranted alarm and confusion among the public.

In a blog post on Wednesday, he gave the examples of two viral posts concerning an alleged extortion case and two supposed kidnapping incidents involving black-market organs, which were both later proven to be false.

“Irresponsible posts like these can create unnecessary confusion, anxiety and, in some extreme cases, panic and fear among the general populace.

“There are ethical and legal implications when one shares unverified news and information online,” said Dr Salleh.

He cited examples of scams that spread seemingly harmless posts such as those which asks social media users to like or share a photo to win an iPad or to “like a post if you hate cancer”.

“This process is apparently known as “like farming”; a method used by scammers to urge users to like and share fake news or links online to gain more traction for a Facebook page that later, will be sold to marketing companies or worst, used to help spread more profitable scams,” he added.

Dr Salleh added that such posts could contain malware that would deactivate a user’s social media account, which later asks for their credit card details in order to activate it.

“In conclusion, don’t blindly click, like and share things that you see on your newsfeed, without fully understanding the details behind the headlines or the truth about the story. 

“As most social media fraud experts warn, ‘If it is too good to be true, it’s probably a scam’,” he said.

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