The Week That Was: Life and tech in the new normal


  • The Week That Was
  • Monday, 08 Jun 2020

Ismail Sabri urged members of the public to download the MySejahtera app as it would help the government’s efforts in breaking the chain of Covid-19 infections by monitoring which commercial premises they visit. — Bernama

As Malaysians get used to the new normal of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) and having their movements traced, the government has made it easier for the public to comply with the rules.

With the MySejahtera app’s Check-In feature, the public can now check-in when visiting stores using a Quick Response (QR) code, rather than writing down their details with pen and paper.

The feature that went live on June 2 also has a related website for stores to register their premises and generate a unique QR code corresponding to their outlet.

Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on June 3 said it was not compulsory to download or use mobile apps to scan QR codes when entering any business premises.

He explained it was for convenience and those who did not use the app could write down their details instead.

However, he urged members of the public to download the MySejahtera app as it would help the government’s efforts in breaking the chain of Covid-19 infections by monitoring which commercial premises they visit.

Across the Causeway, Facebook waded into politics as it criticised the Singaporean government’s use of an online misinformation law after it was forced to block the Facebook page of fringe political website the National Times Singapore.

The social media company called the law severe and said it risked stifling free speech. It was nonetheless legally compelled to comply.

The page was run by anti-government activist Alex Tan, who resides in Australia and has reportedly been accused of spreading falsehoods on a variety of subjects.

According to a Singapore government website that serves to debunk false information, Tan "continues to publish falsehoods that distort the public's understanding of the (misinformation) law and how it has been implemented".

Authorities added that four Facebook pages that Tan operates have now been blocked.

Back in its home country, Facebook received criticism from its own staff for not taking measures against a post by US president Donald Trump, which the workers felt violated the company's policy against violent rhetoric.

Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg told staff at a companywide meeting that he won’t change his mind about the decision to leave up Trump’s post, which stated "when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

The post was also shared on Twitter. However, Twitter added a warning and filter to the message.

Snapchat has also stopped promoting Trump’s account, removing it from the app’s Discover section. His account has over one million followers on the platform.

This came after a post where the US president said “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” would be used on protesters if they breached the White House fence.

Snapchat’s parent company Snap explained it would not amplify voices that incite racial violence and injustice. However, it did not suspend or ban Trump’s account.

This follows tension between Trump and Twitter, after the social media company added a fact-checking label to his post about mail-in ballots. The president responded by unveiling an executive order targeting the law that protects social media companies from liability for the content posted by its users.

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