Meta to Face Legal Action From Malaysia Over ‘Undesirable’ Content

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Malaysia’s government said Friday that it would pursue legal action against Meta Platforms for failing to comply with its repeated request to remove “undesirable” content from Facebook.

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said it had made attempts to contact Meta about harmful content posted on its social media site Facebook, but they were met with a “sluggish” response.

These harmful contents posted on Facebook were related to “the aspects of race, royalty, religion, defamation, impersonation, online gambling, as well as scam advertisements,” according to MCMC.

“Meta’s response, which has been sluggish and unsatisfactory, has not met the urgency of the matter and has led to increasing public concern and scrutiny,” the commission said in a statement.

“As there is no sufficient cooperation from Meta, MCMC has no option but to take definitive steps or legal action against Meta as a measure to ensure that people are secure and protected in the digital sphere,” it added.

MCMC did not provide specific details regarding the nature of the legal measures it plans to take against Meta.

MCMC said it will not tolerate abuse of online platforms and telecommunications “for malicious cyber activities, phishing, or any contents that threaten racial stability, social harmony, and defy respect for the rulers.”

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times on the matter.

Earlier this month, the government warned of action against Telegram after it refused to cooperate over complaints regarding content and misuse of the app, including the sale of pornographic materials, drugs and investment scams. Officials were quoted by local media as saying Telegram scams have cost Malaysians some 45 million ringgit ($9.6 million) since January 2020.

Telegram initially said it wouldn’t participate in “any form of political censorship” but later agreed to work with local authorities to curb illegal activities.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said last month that Malaysia will not scrutinize the security aspects of the Chinese video app TikTok as several other nations have but will continue to monitor the situation.

“I understand that foreign countries are scrutinizing the security aspects of using TikTok, but here in Malaysia, we will continue to monitor the situation through agencies such as CyberSecurity Malaysia, National Cyber Security Agency, and even the Home Ministry,” he told the New Straits Times.

“As a sovereign state, we have the right to make our own decisions based on factors and evaluations conducted by our agencies,” Fahmi added.

TikTok has come under increased scrutiny in the United States because of national security concerns and the potential that U.S. users’ private information could land in the hands of the Chinese communist regime, with many lawmakers advocating for a nationwide ban of the app.

TikTok has said that users’ personal data collected by the app can be remotely accessed in China but denied it had or would ever provide the data to the regime.

Last September, the South Korean government fined Google and Meta billions of won for allegedly collecting personal data without users’ consent.

The Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) fined Google ₩69.2 billion ($50 million) and Meta ₩30.8 billion ($22 million), the highest amount ever levied for alleged data privacy violations by the commission, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The PIPC said its probe found that Google and Meta have been collecting and analyzing behavioral data to use for personalized online advertising without informing or getting prior consent from users.

The firms were ordered to inform their users clearly and obtain their consent before collecting or utilizing users’ behavioral information on websites or other platforms.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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