The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) have called upon TikTok to explain at least three video clips about the May 13 1969 racial riots that were paid for and are currently circulating on TikTok.
It retreated that the dissemination of provocative content with the intention of inciting disharmony, prejudice and the feelings of others, is an offence under the Penal Code Act 574, which can be punished with a fine or imprisonment or both if convicted.
"Any dissemination of such video content is an irresponsible act which might cause disharmony, division, feelings of hatred or prejudice in matters related to religion and race," MCMC said. It added that it will work together with the PDRM to continue stepping up efforts in curbing the dissemination of such videos that may threaten public order. TikTok declined to comment.
Just last week, MCMC reminded Malaysians to refrain from airing hateful views that involve race and religion shortly after the elections ended. Media outlets including The Straits Times previously reported that youths were creating TikTok clips that touched on the 13 May 1969 racial riots. The TikTok videos reportedly contained anti-Chinese messages and falsely claimed DAP's political dominance should Pakatan Harapan be allowed to form the government, among other provocative topics.
MCMC said then that it will continue to curb the spread of inauthentic information and malicious statements involving the 3R elements, namely King (royalty), Religion (religion), and Race (race). PDRM's inspector-general of police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani also previously wanted users not to abuse TikTok to spread provocative content.
When MCMC and PDRM first issued statements previously, Malaysia was still facing its first hung parliament. Muhyiddin Yassin and Anwar Ibrahim were also summoned to the Istana Negara. Anwar has since been appointed Malaysia's 10th prime minister.
Aside from reminding individuals to not share and spread such content, MCMC also reminded users not to extend the content to other social media platforms. Users were also urged to immediately report to the authorities if they receive content that is provocative or insults religion, the institution of the king and is racist.
Meanwhile, TikTok said it has zero tolerance against any form of hate speech and violent extremism. As it relates to May 13 content, the platform quickly removed videos which were in violation of its Community Guidelines.
"We continue to be on high alert and will aggressively remove any violative content, including video, audio, livestream, images, comments, links, or other text. Our community members can also use our in-app reporting function to immediately report any harmful content. To do so, users can simply press and hold a video and a prompt will appear for users to click 'Report'," TikTok said.
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