Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak today called on the people to use their power of self-censorship to reject or accept any information posted on social media.
He said self-censorship was important to see that the information they received and believed was valid and not detrimental and disruptive to harmony in society and the country.
“The important thing is, we should not be confused between news and views. Views are people’s own and not necessarily accurate and our views could differ from each other’s. But news contains facts, the veracity of which are verified before being disseminated.
“People should not jump the gun when receiving reports that may not be true and even illogical. We have to see whether the information received is true or false and look at it from various sources and not just one source.”
He was commenting on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s reminder to the people to be careful about spreading unverified information through social media.
Najib cited a car fire incident in Taman Jaya which occurred due to a personal problem but went viral as being the result of a bomb explosion.
Salleh said by referring to various sources with regard to information received, the public could make comparisons before coming to a conclusion.
He said making unverified information viral would have a negative impact, because although it was later proven to be untrue, the damage was already done.
He cited the case of a news portal reporting that Brunei Darussalam had banned Christmas celebrations in that country when it was not true, but the news had gone worldwide and the damage already done.
Salleh also urged news portals, especially their editors, to uphold journalistic ethics and not to politicise issues which should not be politicised.