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Fake news and rumors abound in Malaysia
BY: CHRISTOPHER FERNANDEZ
The rampant spate of fake news and rumors have prompted the Malaysian government to set up a website to check and verify all news items and to ensure that Malaysians are only in the know of the truth.
This is a long time in coming as over the last decade social media has been inundated with all kinds of fake news and rumours that the truth in this country has become a casualty especially with the emergence of deepfakes.
What is a deepfake? Deepfakes use deep learning artificial intelligence to replace the likeness of one person with another in a video or other digital media. There are concerns that deepfake technology can be used to create fake news and misleading videos.
In Malaysia these concerns have been justified because there is an abundance of deepfakes, fake news and rumors that have sometimes caused offence and hurt to innocent people and most definitely injured their reputation and credibility.
But the reason for this rising insolence by Malaysians is due to the fact that a growing number of Malaysians are losing patience with the government and are voicing and expressing their anger and frustration through these fake news and rumors.
It doesn’t help that the government refuses to listen to dissent and the grievances and complaints of the rakyat causing the people to play turncoat and vent their angst on the government and its leaders through deepfake, fake news and rumors.
These sensational and often realike propaganda usually go viral and people clamour to pass it on through the various social media often causing confusion, fear and worry when in most of these postings there is no basis of truth.
The problem with irresponsible Malaysians “crying wolf” is that these kinds of deepfake, fake news and rumors can backfire, and to spread news or views that are clearly running foul of the law can lead to legal implications.
This is why it is good if a check and verify approach can be used on any information received by us before passing it on to others to ensure that there is no transgression of the law and that only the truth will prevail.
-THE MALAYSIA VOICE
** The views expressed on this opinion is of the writer and not the publisher