Freedom of expression is not meant to promote lewd, vulgar or sexist comments – Gobind Singh

“Freedom of expression is not meant to promote lewd, vulgar or sexist comments,” said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh today maintaining his call for local online news portals and websites to self-regulate and moderate their comments section.

Gobind reminded Malaysians that freedom must be used responsibly and while he supports free speech, the discussions on social media should not violate existing laws.

“Today’s portals provide news and also an avenue for people to exchange views on news reports. While social media and online news portals do benefit society, there is a need to exercise proper decorum on these platforms.

“It is in this context that I called for our news portals to self-regulate through moderating their news and the comments posted on their sites.

“It is not meant to curtail civil liberties but rather to maintain decorum and avoid expression which promotes inflammatory remarks which may impact on the security of our nation which we increasingly see today,” he added.

He also reiterated his support for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s call in Parliament yesterday for the responsible use of social media, with firm and swift action to those who break the law in this regard.

Gobind then added that he did not make an unreasonable request when he asked portals to moderate the content in their comments section, adding that he has received complaints over the matter.

However, he also said he was willing to discuss the matter further, including with members of the media fraternity, on how best to develop a framework to deal with the issue.

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“I look forward to continuing this dialogue with the relevant stakeholders.

“I will also seek the views and recommendations from the to-be-formed media council on this matter and also how to better promote responsible use of social media while providing the space for freedom of expression in this country,” he said.

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[via Malay Mail]