Govt Mulling Laws to Curb Fake News

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The government is looking into introducing laws to curb fake news which the prime minister says is a threat to political stability and public order.

Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said the move was necessary because the people could be instigated to hate the government or commit something like uprisings due to the influence of fake news.

“We don’t want this fake news to spread. This does not mean we control the Internet, the Internet is free but the freedom must exist with the elements of accountability,” he said.

The media reported that Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May wanted to set up a new unit to intensify efforts to address the spread of fake news and prevent the dissemination of inaccurate information by other countries.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to introduce a new law that banned fake news on the Internet during the country’s election campaign.

Meanwhile, Najib said fake news would also affect the harmony of the general election as had happened previously.

He said the Barisan Nasional (BN) fell victim to fake news and allegations that there were 40,000 voters who were Bangladeshi nationals on polling day.

“BN has also been a victim of a false news that claimed there was a blackout, but the people must think that if there is a blackout, it is still daylight.

“We closed the ballot boxes at 5pm and at 5.30pm it is still bright, can still count…opposition counting agents were there too, so our system cannot cheat in actual fact,” he added.