Home Content Forum Lifestyle 71% of Complaints to the Content Forum are on Social Media Content
Home Content Forum Lifestyle 71% of Complaints to the Content Forum are on Social Media Content

71% of Complaints to the Content Forum are on Social Media Content

Self-regulation is Crucial to Reduce the Creation and Proliferation of Harmful Content.

The Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (Content Forum) received 734 cases lodged to its Complaints Bureau last year. A significant portion of the cases received were related to internet or social media content (518 cases).

This constitutes 71% of the total cases received by the Complaints Bureau as of December 31, 2022. Notably, there is a spike in new media cases compared to the 412 new media cases the Complaints Bureau received in 2021.

Breakdown of Social Media Cases per Platform:
  • WhatsApp - 204 cases
  • Facebook - 130 cases
  • Instagram - 68 cases
  • TikTok - 13 cases
  • Twitter - 6 cases

The complaints range from cyberbullying, misuse of private information, love scams and posts that offend religion; with a number of reports relating to a variety of issues that went viral during the year.

The increasing number of complaints can indicate that the new media platforms are rife with mischief and misconduct. However, it is also a healthy indication that Malaysians are playing their role in self-regulation of content, by recognizing potentially harmful content and lodging reports to the relevant parties.

The Complaints-Handling Process

The Content Forum’s Complaints Bureau
For complaints relating to content on the electronic media network such as television, radio, internet (for websites hosted in Malaysia), the Content Forum’s Complaints Bureau will evaluate and examine the complaint with reference to the Content Code.

The Content Forum’s Complaints Bureau is headed by an elected Chairman and consists of representatives from the 6 categories of membership including broadcasters, advertisers, and civic groups.

If the Complaints Bureau decides that there is a violation of the Content Code, several action can be taken i.e.:-
  • issue a written reprimand;
  • impose a fine not exceeding Ringgit Malaysia fifty thousand (RM50,000.00); and/or
  • require removal of the Content or cessation of the offending act.

Social Media Complaints
With regards to complaints on new media, specifically those regarding content on social media platforms, all complainants will be first advised to lodge a report directly to the administrators of each platform, using the available tools. Content that breaches the platforms’ community guidelines will be dealt with accordingly.

Complaints on new media or internet content that are not addressed by the platforms can be lodged with the Content Forum at https://contentforum.my/make-a-complaint or with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) at https://aduan.skmm.gov.my.

For complaints of a more criminal nature, the complainant will be guided to the relevant authorities. For example, on cases relating to fraud or scams, they will be referred to the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) or to the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC).

Cases that relate to content involving race, religion, and royalty will be addressed by MCMC directly, and investigated under the relevant laws including the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Digital Literacy and Self-Regulation A Must for Malaysians
Harassment, bullying, disinformation, propaganda and the use of fake accounts to scam or defraud on social media is a growing concern. There is an urgent need for digital literacy in Malaysia and it’s even more important now for everyone to self-regulate online content.

Kenny Ong, Chairman of the Content Forum, urges social media users to be aware of their conduct and engagement online.

“The concept of self-regulation is extremely crucial, as it can help reduce the creation and proliferation of harmful content, especially on social media. As social media users, we are empowered to curate the kind of content we want on our timeline or feed. Most importantly, we are also able to take action against anything we see that’s harmful. Use the block, mute, unfollow and report functions. Additionally, we advise everyone not to engage with such content, to reduce its spread.”

“We all aim to provide a safe content ecosystem for the people of Malaysia, and self-regulation places the power back in the hands of the consumer to decide the types of content they want to consume,” he continued.

Generally, social media sites have provided tools and features to resolve most common user issues, like the “Report” and “Block” buttons that anyone can use at their own discretion. Besides that, social media platforms also have community guidelines that users can use as a point of reference to maximize their content experience while safeguarding themselves from potential digital threats. The Content Forum welcomes all opportunities to work with everyone who would like to empower their community through self-regulation.

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