The speakers at the event Foto Bernama
By Wan Asmanizan Wan Ahmad Najib
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- With the 14th General Election (GE14) drawing near, campaigns are heating up and rumour mills are going into overdrive, resulting in a spike in false news being spread across social and electronic media in the country .
The National Broadband Penetration Rate Per 100 Households in 2017 is 84.5 percent. This means a majority of Malaysians today have access to the internet, as well as the exposure to misinformation and false news.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is cognisant of this serious issue and is addressing it by bringing the roadshow to promote its fact-checking website, Sebenarnya.my, to Batu Pahat, Johor on Feb 28.
The roadshow is aimed at increasing public awareness on the importance of applying discretion when consuming news and verifying its contents before sharing it.
THE TREND OF FAKE NEWS
The school run held in conjunction with the campaign Foto Bernama
The sebenarnya.my portal has witnessed over 22 million hits, indicating an increase in awareness from among local internet users on the importance of verifying the information they consume.
False news tend to go viral over social media when it is related to a trending issue, such as the upcoming GE14.
We need to examine everything we read on the internet because many facts have been twisted and turned to fit into the agenda of irresponsible parties. Verify the information first,? said the MCMC Network Security, New Media Monitoring, Compliance and Advocacy Sector chief officer Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek when
He said MCMC would continue promoting mindful internet consumption and encouraging users to always check the validity of viral information via sebenarnya.my before sharing.
Today's programme is targeted for school goers and the local community. Verify the truth of a news received before hitting the ?share' button and sending it to your friends,? he added.
THINK BEFORE YOU LINK
The one-day programme featured a talk show themed ?Berita Palsu Musuh Negara? (Fake News is the Country's Enemy) that is jointly organised with the Parit Sulong MP Service Centre.
The panel of speakers include Imam Muda Muhammad Asyraf and Ustaz Don Daniyal Don Biyajid while Ustaz Tajdid Hadhari Ramli served as the moderator.
Imam Muda Asyraf advised internet users today to take a step back upon receiving a viral piece of news and to filter out to the truth before sharing the information with others.
He hoped that by taking a minute to check the validity of a piece of news, users would be able to prevent the spread of slanderous or fake news and ultimately causing chaos within the community.
Ustaz Don, meanwhile, praised MCMC's effort in organising such programmes as he believed it would help the community rally against a common threat to social harmony.
SUPPORT FROM LOCAL COMMUNITY
The programme in Batu Pahat started with the 2018 Sebenarnya.my Fun Run. Some 200 students from SMK Dato' Sulaiman and SMK Penghulu Saat from the Parit Sulong district participated in the 5-km run.
Parit Sulong MP Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad said the programme served as an important reminder for the community, given the ease and speed at which information was disseminated these days, to verify the information before sharing.
This roadshow raises awareness of the importance of verifying any piece of news with the sebenarnya.my portal before sharing it on the internet. We need to get all the facts right before sharing, she said when met after the run.
The event also saw 20 residents of Kampung Medan, Batu Pahat receiving contributions from the MP and MCMC.