Check Your Facts Before Sharing on Social Media
By Engku Shariful Azni
Pix Izwan Azman
BANGI, April 20, 2016 – Members of the public should verify information before sharing it on social media to avoid spreading rumours online, said panelists at Bicara Pesada Forum titled Violent Perception: Challenges In National Unity organised by The National University of Malaysia (UKM), recently.
They also agreed that social media users shouldn’t jump the gun by believing everything on the internet.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, one of the panelists, said spreading false rumours through Facebook and WhatsApp could cause ‘violent perceptions’ that threatened national unity.
He urged caution as he believes that replacing traditional news with social media might result in abuse by people who deliberately want to poison the minds of members of the public.
Meanwhile, panelist Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, Head of Information for PAS said people tend to become over-excited when they see sensational claims over social media.
“We love to spread information to others because we want to be the first person to tell them about it and get a lot of ‘likes’,” he said.
From the legal perspective, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students and Alumni Affairs) Prof Dato’ Noor Aziah Mohd Awal, said that existing laws could not reduce the spread of ‘violent perception’ because of the speed of messages relayed online.
Therefore, she advised academicians to do some background research before making any information public.
Secretary of the Malay Consultative Council Datuk Dr Hassan Mad, expressed concern of what he saw as intellectuals who are duped into spreading false information because they lacked maturity to think critically about an issue.