Social media platforms will not be shut down in event of crisis

Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo said there was currently no consideration for that, and maintained that the country’s legal provisions were sufficient to handle the situation. Source (pic): TTF Files

Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo said the government will not ban social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat and Twitter, even temporarily, in the event of a crisis or terrorist attacks.

“There is no proposal for us to (temporarily) ban social media in the country. We already have a legal system in place which has provisions to deal with social media abuse and offence.

Gobind was commenting on a survey by independent research firm Ipsos Global Advisor (Ipsos) which revealed that Malaysians are for the government to temporarily close social media to curb the spread of fake news in times of crisis or terrorist attacks.

The survey that was conducted between May 24 and June 7, involving nearly 20,000 respondents from 27 countries, found that 75 per cent of Malaysian respondents agreed that the government should shut down social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat and Twitter, during crisis.


KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not ban social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat and Twitter, even temporarily, in the event of a crisis or terrorist attacks.

Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo said there was currently no consideration for that, and maintained that the country’s legal provisions were sufficient to handle the situation.

According to him, a report can be lodged to the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as a first step to address any misuse or dissemination of sensitive information on social media.


“There is no proposal for us to (temporarily) ban social media in the country. We already have a legal system in place which has provisions to deal with social media abuse and offence.

“In such a situation, a police report can be made. The police have the power to get MCMC to cooperate,” he said when met after visiting the New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (NSTP) today.

Gobind was commenting on a survey by independent research firm Ipsos Global Advisor (Ipsos) which revealed that Malaysians are for the government to temporarily close social media to curb the spread of fake news in times of crisis or terrorist attacks.

The survey that was conducted between May 24 and June 7, involving nearly 20,000 respondents from 27 countries, found that 75 per cent of Malaysian respondents agreed that the government should shut down social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat and Twitter, during crisis.

Going further, Gobind advises everyone to use social media platforms wisely.

“Always be wary of false news and misuse of social media. We must ensure that we use the platform with prudence and without offending anyone.

“My stand is to use the social media to our advantage,” he said, adding that everyone should work together to curb any form of abuse on social media.

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