Govt action on online child safety lauded


JOHOR BARU: The government’s plans to control TikTok access to children under 13 are coming at the right time, especially after the recent “Hot Daddy” case, say Johor’s youth leaders.

Johor Youth Council deputy president Mohammad Alif A. Rahim believes that these measures should have been in place earlier before problems such as scams, pornography and sexual harassment became the norm across all social media platforms.

“There should have already been rules in place to stop inappropriate content from reaching children under 13,” he said when contacted.

“The “Hot Daddy” case is just one example. There are still many other cases that are not being addressed,” he said, referring to a 32-year-old Pahang entrepreneur, known as Hot Daddy, who was arrested and charged in court for advertising sex services on messaging apps.

“For instance, some content creators have even been promoting the idea that SPM exams are unimportant, which is worrying,” Mohammad Alif added.

He stressed that access to the Internet and social media for children and teens must be balanced with parental controls and more public awareness.

“Although teenagers can access the Internet and social media, there must be safeguards, such as parental controls, to monitor and limit their online activities,” he said. “These restrictions should apply not only to children under 13 but everyone under 18.”

Johor Gerakan Belia 4B Malaysia chairman Khairul Azlan Sulong said that parents should play a more active role in their children’s online behaviour.

“Parents should use parental control apps to monitor their children’s phones and prevent them from creating or using fake accounts.

“TikTok is popular among kids due to its speed and easy access to information, but it also exposes them to harmful content and trends. The challenge is how to protect them from accessing inappropriate material,” he said.

“The government should immediately ban such content and they should not be allowed to resurface,” Khairul Azlan suggested.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that he and two other Cabinet colleagues were working on a technical committee on online security and safety issues, particularly those related to children.

He said he would meet the management of TikTok and other social media platform companies after Chinese New Year to discuss enhancing online safety for kids.

On Jan 26, Hasli Ikhwan Arif Zul Hasli and two women were charged for being behind the Hot Daddy account.

He is alleged to have filmed himself having sex with women and sold the videos online.

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TikTok , Social Media , Youth , NGO , Child Protection

   

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