Recently, a video of a session at the parliament showed YB Senator Tuan Haji Hussin bin Ismail raised serious concerns about the content of social media advertisements, particularly those featuring explicit material.
In the video posted by @stratcommPMX, the senator questioned the Ministry of Communication and Digital’s efforts in addressing what he deemed as “ads that go too far.”
Responding to the senator’s inquiries, the Minister of Communication and Digital, Fahmi Fadzli shed light on the algorithm-driven nature of ad targeting, explaining, “Usually, the ads presented to us are based on what the algorithm thinks we like to watch…”.
The minister illustrated this by giving examples related to user preferences, emphasizing the role of algorithms in content selection.
The discussion took a turn toward the potential negative effects of algorithms, with the minister acknowledging concerns such as tunnel syndrome or echo chambers—phenomena arising from exposure to a narrow range of content.
The senator, emphasised about the impact on young children, stated, “Even small children who scroll the phone have already seen such things. It means it is very threatening.”
Attempting to address the issue, the Minister of Communication and Digital advised users, especially the adults to “clear your cache, empty your history before letting children or grandchildren use your phone.”
In response, the Minister of Communication and Digital also assured that he will be discussing about the posting of inappropriate advertisement on social media platform with related people.