Cabinet approved plan to license, regulate social media, says report

The Straits Times reports that Putrajaya’s plan to get social media platforms licensed in Malaysia is reportedly in its final stages and has received the nod from the cabinet. – Pixabay pic, June 24, 2024.

PUTRAJAYA’S plan to get social media platforms licensed in Malaysia is reportedly in its final stages and has received the nod from the cabinet, The Straits Times reported.

The daily, citing sources, said this reportedly includes imposing a content code on such platforms that would also have regulations regarding political content.

It was reported the cabinet approved the licensing requirement in April.

The decision, which was set to be announced in July, will reportedly be delayed pending feedback from industry players.

The report quoted an unnamed industry executive as saying it would also take months for major platforms to officially set up operations in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, other sources cited in the report said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had made several proposals on content regulation during briefing sessions they attended.

This included proposed preemptive action against offences, which platform owners and civil society groups both opposed.

Other proposals included requiring platforms to open up their content moderation and algorithms to be subject to audits, as well as a kill switch to remove objectionable content.

At present, the MCMC already issues take-down notices to social media platforms.

TikTok revealed in a report that between June and December 2023, the Malaysian government made the highest number of takedown requests to the platform – Malaysia made 1,862 requests, followed by Australia’s 651.

The MCMC had defended its actions last December, saying it was meant to protect social media users.

It said that 70% of the over 25,000 take-down requests it made in 2023 were against scams and online gambling. – June 24, 2024.

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