MCMC: Stop spreading false SMSes or prepare to be charged
By Digital News Asia April 30, 2013
- False info and malicious rumours being spread via SMS and on social networks: MCMC
- Constitutes an offence under Sections 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act
THE Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is presently investigating several reports relating to the dissemination of false information via SMS.
In a statement, the industry regulator called on the parties responsible, including those who are sponsoring such activities, to immediately cease such actions or be prepared to face the legal consequences.
From the MCMC’s monitoring of complaints received as well as cases referred to it by the police recently, the number of malicious and false claims spreading via SMS and on social media has been on the rise in recent weeks, it said.
The MCMC said it would like to remind the public not to simply believe everything that they read online and to verify all information they receive before forming any views or conclusions on issues, or forwarding said message.
It also warned members of the public against spreading false information via SMS or social media as it constitutes an offence under Sections 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Those found guilty under the law, upon conviction, can be fined a sum not exceeding RM50,000 (US$16,520) or face imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.
With Malaysia going to the polls on May 5, online political campaigning has intensified in recent weeks, and in some instances, has turned distinctly ugly.
Prior to Parliament being dissolved, the Information Communications and Culture Ministry instructed the MCMC to look into suitable methods to monitor and control the use of social media in the 13th general election (GE13).
This was to ensure that social media would not be abused by irresponsible quarters to achieve their own political agenda, the ministry said, according to a Bernama report in independent news portal Malaysiakini.
On April 29, Malaysian police said they were investigating the owner of the blog Milo Suam under the Elections Act 1958, the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Section 505 of the Penal Code for uttering statements that were tantamount to creating public mischief and spreading false information, English daily The Star reported in its online edition.
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