Malaysia to take legal action against Meta, says harmful content not removed


Kuala Lumpur (Reuters) – Malaysian authorities said on Friday they will take legal action against Facebook parent company Meta Platforms (META.O) for failing to remove “undesirable” content on the social media platform.

Facebook has recently seen a significant volume of undesirable content relating to race, royalty, religion, defamation, impersonation, online gambling and scam advertisements, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said in a statement.

It also said Meta had failed to take sufficient action despite its repeated requests and that legal action was necessary to promote “accountability for cybersecurity” and for “enhancing consumer protection”.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The commission also did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what legal action might be taken.

Big social media firms such as Meta, Google’s YouTube and TikTok are often under regulatory scrutiny over content posted on their platforms.

Some Southeast Asian governments have frequently requested that content be taken down.

In 2020, Vietnam threatened to shut down Facebook in the country if it did not bow to government pressure to censor more local political content on its platform. It said last year that social media platforms operating in Vietnam removed more than 3,200 posts and videos in the first quarter that contained false information and violated the country’s law.

In Indonesia, Facebook in 2019 took down hundreds of local accounts, pages and groups linked to a fake news syndicate.

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