- MCMC held discussions with Meta and Google to address challenges in the online media landscape.
- Issues discussed include child abuse material, online gambling, scams, and the spread of disinformation.
- Malaysia is considering adopting regulatory frameworks similar to those in Australia and Canada.
- The focus is also on balancing income between digital platforms and local media.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its ethical implementation were acknowledged as important.
In a move that could reshape the digital landscape, Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is contemplating a regulatory framework to tackle the challenges arising from the rapidly evolving online media sector.
In a statement released on September 5, MCMC revealed that it had convened a meeting with tech giants Meta and Google at its Cyberjaya headquarters. The meeting was co-chaired by the Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD) secretary-general Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa and MCMC chairman Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din. Also present were MCMC commission member Derek Fernandez and representatives from the Royal Malaysia Police.
The challenges under discussion are manifold and include the spread of child sexual abuse material, online gambling, scams, and phishing. Content that incites racial, royal, and religious discontent, as well as the sale of illegal drugs and prohibited substances, were also on the agenda. Notably, the spread of disinformation and fake news was a key focus.
Transitioning to international examples, MCMC is considering adopting regulatory frameworks similar to those implemented in Australia and Canada. In Australia, the “Mandatory News Media Bargaining Code” led Google and Meta to enter into voluntary compensation agreements with news outlets. Canada’s Bill C-11 has explored the regulation of streaming platforms, requiring them to support locally produced content.
The statement also highlighted the imbalance in Advertising Expenditure (ADEX) between digital platforms and local media. The aim is to ensure fair compensation for news content creators, thereby leveling the playing field in the digital market.
Moreover, the growing importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was acknowledged. Plans are in the pipeline to implement ethical guidelines for AI, focusing on fair competition, strengthening intellectual property rights, and protecting consumers from online harms and privacy breaches.
“As Malaysia charts its course in the digital age, KKD and MCMC are committed to fostering an environment where digital platforms operate fairly, responsibly, and in the best interest of the public,” the statement concluded.