Fahmi to meet social media company reps over hate speech, extremist content

PUTRAJAYA: Digital Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil will hold meetings with representatives from several social media platforms including TikTok to discuss concerns about the circulation of misinformation and extremist content.

Speaking at his maiden press conference after clocking in at his ministry on Monday (Dec 5), Fahmi said he was worried about problems on social media, especially the spread of fake news, hate speech and extremism.

“This was also raised by a few ministers in the Cabinet meeting,” he said.

"I believe after meeting with a few social media platforms including TikTok, perhaps I will be able to understand the issue better, especially in terms of the regulatory framework,” he added.

Fahmi was slated to have a meeting with a representative from TikTok later on Monday.

On Nov 30, TikTok management was called up by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to explain three sponsored videos on its platform that warned of a recurrence of the May 13, 1969 riots.

“MCMC, through cooperation with PDRM, called up the TikTok management to provide an immediate explanation.

“The spreading of provocative content to cause disharmony, hatred and prejudice is an offence under the Penal Code (Act 574), and will result in a penalty, jail sentence or both, if convicted,” MCMC said in a statement on Nov 30.

It said spreading such content was an irresponsible act and could cause disharmony, friction and hatred, especially in the context of race and religion.

On the 5G rollout, Fahmi said he looked forward to meeting representatives from Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) to understand the current situation.

Fahmi said while spectrum distribution falls under the purview of his ministry, DNB itself is under the Finance Ministry.

“With regards to the issue of spectrum distribution, whatever my personal sentiments were before, I am now te minister in charge so ... I will have to refer to the Cabinet and seek some instructions,” he added.

On March 3, it was reported that Fahmi, who was then in the Opposition, had called for a probe of the partnership between DNB and Ericsson following news reports that the Swedish telecommunications company had allegedly breached pacts and also for compliance issues.

DNB inked a 10-year partnership with Ericsson last year to deliver a nationwide 5G single wholesale network.

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