MCMC blocks access to fan fiction website

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has restricted access to fan fiction website FanFiction.Net for breaching section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

FanFiction.Net has confirmed the move on Twitter, adding that Malaysia has joined Indonesia as the only two countries to block access to the website.

According section 233, which cites the improper use of network facilities or network service, "a person who makes, creates, solicits and initiates the transmission of any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person" commits an offence. Also, it is an offence to offer "obscene communication for commercial purposes" or allow "a network service or applications service under the person's control to be used for an activity" described earlier.

This comes after MCMC requested platform provider of the video game “Fights of Gods”, to disable downloads for Malaysians within 24 hours in September. The game features the likes of Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha as player characters, as well as Zeus, Odin, Moses, Guan Gong and Athena.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the video game degraded religions and religious leaders, and posed a great threat to racial unity and harmony. He added that “immediate steps” are taken in the interest of the public to ensure that such content “do not continue to harm others”.

In a statement to A+M, a spokesperson for PQube, the distributor for the game based in the UK, said that "Fight of Gods" is a piece of entertainment software and was never made with the intention of causing offense to any religions or religious persons and does not endorse or promote any sort of religious agenda. The spokesperson added that the company is “saddened and disappointed” by the response by certain groups in Malaysia.

Religion is known to be a sensitive topic and MCMC is not the only one that has decided to take action on such a blasphemous issue.

In February this year, Disney’s Maker Studios dropped PewDiePie, a Youtube star who shot to fame for releasing videos of him playing video games. According to an article on the Wall Street Journal, the typically provocative Swedish YouTube star Felix Kjellberg posted several videos with anti-Semitic messages which ultimately led to Maker Studios cut in ties.

A spokeswoman for Maker Studios had then told A+M that although Kjellberg has created a following by “being provocative and irreverent”, he went too far in this case and the resulting videos were inappropriate. As a result, Maker Studios decided to end its affiliation with him, the spokesperson added.