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MCMC warns against provocative social posts after May 13 TikToks surface

MCMC warns against provocative social posts after May 13 TikToks surface

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The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has reminded Malaysians to be prudent and refrain from airing hateful views that involve race and religion.

Chairman Mohamad Salim Fateh Din said in a statement today that all parties should respect the results of the election and the election of the Prime Minister that will be made by the King. Malaysia faces its first-ever hung parliament and the King said today that he will soon decide on the formation of the government, The Star said. Meanwhile, chairman of Perikatan Nasional and former PM Muhyiddin Yassin and chairman of Pakatan Harapan Anwar Ibrahim were summoned to the Istana Negara at 4.30pm.

MCMC said it will continue to monitor and curb the spread of inauthentic information and malicious statements involving the 3R elements, namely King (royalty), Religion (religion), and Race (race). "Any sharing of false, ugly and threatening content is an offence under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998," the statement said. If convicted, individuals will be fined a maximum of RM50,000 or imprisoned for a year or both.

It will also take joint enforcement action with the Royal Malaysia Police against those involved based on public complaints. MCMC also urged the public to report incidents or content that is inciting, provocative or insulting. 

At the same time, Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said in a separate statement that the Royal Malaysia Police has detected social media users uploading content involving racial or religious sentiments and insulting royal institutions. It warned users to refrain from abusing the platform to spread provocative content that may cause public annoyance. He added that strict action under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 as well as the sedition act and the penal code will be taken against any party who attempts to create a situation that threatens public safety and order.

These come shortly after media outlets including The Straits Times reported TikTok clips by youths touching on the 13 May 1969 racial riots and violence following the 15th General Election. The TikTok videos contained anti-Chinese messages and falsely claimed DAP's political dominance should Pakatan Harapan be allowed to form the government. The TikToks also questioned Malay voters who supported DAP. 

In response, 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 itsCommunity 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.

The platform added that since the lead-up to the elections, it has been in constant communication with the relevant bodies, including MCMC, about accounts that are involved in severe or repeated on-platform violations.

TikTok was recently used by politicians to engage the younger crowd ahead of GE15. Muhyiddin also jumped on the "swipe" trend in the lead-up to the elections. The company's head of public policy Kristoffer Rada previously told A+M the platform does not allow ads, adding that political advertising and paid advertisements have long been prohibited on the platform globally.

According to Rada, TikTok is an entertainment platform. The platform also recently updated its global policy on political content to government, politicians, and political party accounts (GPPPA) that prohibit GPPPA from monetisation opportunities on TikTok.

Brands that trended during GE15

Social media was abuzz with chatter over the weekend and some of the brands that trended, according to Meltwater, included Malaysia Airlines, IKEA, Kenny Roger Roasters, Firefly, Facebook, Prasarana, as well as Rapid Penang. 

meltwater ge15

Meanwhile, positive keywords that appeared frequently included "wonderful news", "Malaysia Airlines", "Volvo Aero", "inked finger", and "Barisan Nasional". At the same time, "Barisan Nasional" was also among the negative keywords, along with "inked finger", "Bernama, and "Pakatan Harapan". 

meltwater ge15 2

From 15 to 22 November, 75.1% of online sentiment was neutral while 23.9% was positive. There was also plenty of positive sentiment on blogs (43%), message boards (24%) and Twitter (24%), Meltwater found. The top hastags were #ge15, #pru15, and #erahshares.

Related articles:
Malaysia faces first hung parliament: What were netizens talking about during GE15?
TikTok the new GE15 battleground for MY politicians to engage younger gen
Malaysia GE15 social chatter: Which political parties and brands are trending?

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