Cyberbullying has been going around since the dawn of the internet. When people find out they can hide behind a computer and say mean things to others, that’s just heaven for them. Cyberbullying and fake social media accounts came under the spotlight in the Dewan Negara today.
Bernama reported that the Communications and Multimedia Minister, Saifuddin Abdullah informed the Upper House of Parliament that his ministry along with the Malaysian Multimedia University (MMU) is carrying out a study on the need for specific laws to combat cyberbullying.
He said engagement sessions and discussions on the matter were underway to find a solution and to develop an appropriate framework for the best mechanism to address cyberbullying.
“If the existing laws are found to be inadequate to tackle cyberbullying, appropriate amendments can be made to these (laws). In making amendments or come up with new legislation if necessary, public consultation and consultation with the stakeholders will be held to ensure the outcomes will be effective,” he mentioned during the Q&A session at Dewan Negara.
He was replying to a question from Senator A. Kesavadas who wanted to know whether the government intended to study the issue or formulate new laws to control bullying using social media.
According to Saifuddin, there are some existing laws that can be used to tackle cyberbullying using social media, citing the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, Computer Crimes Act 1997 and the Penal Code as examples.
“These laws can be used by the authorities for enforcement (against cyberbullying) together with other existing laws, including civil laws, subject to the facts of the case. The laws are generally subject to continuous review, including the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,” he said.
Earlier, the minister had informed the House that from 2019 till August 2020, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had taken action against 3,224 social media accounts which were masquerading as other accounts or were fake.
A total of 80% were deleted with the cooperation of social media platform providers, in line with their respective terms and conditions.
Saifuddin further clarified that platform providers such as Facebook also monitored content on their platforms in addition to information from social media users and took appropriate action if their terms and conditions and community standards set were flouted.