TM urges consumers to prevent internet defamation with new #FITNET campaign

Telekom Malaysia (TM) has launched a new campaign warning consumers against fake news, focusing mainly on digital and out-of-home (OOH) platforms. It features the slogans "Sharing fake news is akin to telling lies" (Kongsi berita palsu umpama menipu) and "Prevent defamation on the internet" (Cegah fitnah internet).

The campaign, which also features the hashtag #FITNET and will run for approximately three months, was conceptualised and produced by Grey Malaysia. Universal McCann was responsible for digital and print media buying, while TM manages OOH.

In a statement to A+M, VP, group brand and communication, Izlyn Ramli, said that TM has been running campaigns revolving around internet safety for a while, in a bid to champion safety and security, as well as promote best internet etiquette practices. The first campaign under the internet safety theme was launched last year involving parental security, which was in line with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) initiative of championing online protection.

"The internet is a source of vast knowledge but not all of it is credible nor validated. With knowledge comes responsibility to wield that information in a proper manner," Ramli said. She added that the recent campaign was unrelated to the new anti-fake news bill recently announced by the Malaysian government.

"It was a coincidence that the campaign was launched during the same time as the anti-fake news bill. In fact, we are more in line with MCMC's campaign, which aims to raise awareness about the fact-checking website and combat fake news," she said.

Recently, the Malaysian government tabled an anti-fake news bill in parliament. Under the new law, those found guilty of publishing or disseminating fake news facing up to 10 years in jail, or face a fine of up to RM500,000, or both.

The government said that bill aims to “safeguard the public” against the spread of fake news, while maintaining the right to freedom of speech and expression under the Federal Constitution, multiple media reports stated.

It defines fake news as “news, information, data and reports which is or are wholly or partly false”. These include audio recordings, features and visuals. If passed, the bill will prosecute individuals outside Malaysia, including foreigners, should the fake news concern Malaysia or if a Malaysian citizen is affected, according to multiple media reports.

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