Govt to continue blocking morally compromised social media platforms, says Fahmi

KUALA LUMPUR: Social media platforms with content that can influence, affect and compromise public morals will remain blocked by the Communications and Digital Ministry, says Fahmi Fadzil.

The Communications and Digital Minister said blocks by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) also cover such websites, including those promoting sex products and deviant sexual practices.

He said a total of 7,097 such websites were blocked between 2018 and Nov 30, 2023, and similar action will continue to be taken to curb social media misuse.

"The ministry is serious and committed to curb the misuse of social media on various gadgets that could breach our country's laws, including sex- and LGBT-related content and advertisements.

"Besides monitoring for acts or content that contravene the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988, steps to curb such cases will be followed by taking down such content, enforcement and prosecution," he said while winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2024 for the ministry at the Dewan Negara on Monday (Dec 11).

He said the MCMC is also working with various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram and TikTok as part of efforts to curb pornographic content on social media

Fahmi added that 599 instances of pornographic content were removed on this year until Nov 30, with Instagram registering the highest number at 107, Facebook (54), Telegram (44), X (18), TikTok (eight) and other platforms (368).

He also said that the Malaysian Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC) was in the process of identifying local digitalisation partners capable of providing support and consultancy services for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

This is part of efforts to prepare access to digital platforms and solutions as mentioned in the Madani MSME Digital Grant introduced this year.

"MDEC is also encouraging digitalisation partners to offer freemium technology and digital solutions, so that the enterprises can use them for free.

"Interested enterprises need only produce payment when they want to use the full solutions," he said, adding that such methods would help MSMEs identify the benefits of digital technology and solutions for their businesses and would boost usage among them.

Fahmi said it was being implemented after initial findings of the National MSME Digitalisation Roadmap by MDEC indicated that 36% of companies in the country used emerging technologies, and that social media was becoming an important tool for customer experience in business, with 58% of MSMEs using social media to market their products.

On efforts to increase promotion of government initiatives and easily-understood infographics, Fahmi said the ministry, through Bernama, had produced and published news reports and infographics relating to programmes and also the types of government assistance available to the people.

This included producing news about developments of the national economy, analyses by experts and forms or discussions in various television and radio programmes to boost public understanding about economic issues, cost of living, inflation and subsidies.

"All news reports, infographics and programmes are based on authoritative sources, including the Finance Ministry, Economic Affairs Ministry, Agriculture and Food Security Ministry and other stakeholders," he added. – Bernama

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