WhatsApp group admins in Malaysia may face legal action for spreading fake news

Whatsapp group administrators stand to face legal action if they fail to curb the spread of fake news among their chat group members. In a Berita Harian exclusive report,...

Whatsapp group administrators stand to face legal action if they fail to curb the spread of fake news among their chat group members.

In a Berita Harian exclusive report, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari said laws under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 could be used against such admins.

The Act could be used against those accused of spreading fake news, slander, inciting sedition, lying, and exposing information under the Official Secrets Act.

 “The admin could be called to assist in investigations, and whether or not action is taken against the individual depends on the facts and statement of each case,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s fake news, incorrect information or slanderous statements – the admin is responsible for the members,” he said.

Jailani added that admins would face legal action if it was proven that they were directly involved in spreading false information on purpose.

He said WhatsApp group admins need to be more responsible in controlling their members so false news is not spread. He also said admins should be gatekeepers and filter out false news before sharing anything.

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