We spent last weekend worrying about the future of Facebook and its users in Malaysia, due to the fact that our Government was contemplating on whether or not to shut the social media networking service down following cases of abuse. Some of the recent cases, from trivial ones to the more heavy-weighted ones are as follows:
- Pictures of this “white dragon” that was apparently found in Malaysia, which turned out to be a sculpture.
- When people believed that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson “died” because a hoax video was heavily circulated via Facebook.
- Felixia Yeap, who was hurled abusive comments on Facebook when netizens discovered the “real reason” behind her conversion.
- The Sim Kwang Yung Sim story, which came at one of the worst times for our country due to the #MH17 tragedy.
- When a boycott McDonald’s Malaysia “No McDonald’s Day” campaign poster went viral, prompting netizens to react.
But with 15 million users on Facebook in Malaysia alone, we can’t imagine what would happen if it was taken away from us (read: Great Firewall of China). Since Facebook has become such a integral part of our lives, from keeping in contact with the masses (entire friends list) to sharing highlights of our lives, right down to running businesses.
Luckily, we never have to.
It appears that the Government has “unliked” the idea of banning Facebook! According to Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, “Many people are using it for various purposes including personal communications and even online businesses. To ban the website is just impossible,” he confirmed. He also said that banning Facebook was just a suggestion from certain quarters to try and filter the abuse on the Internet. “The Ministry so far had received more than 2,000 reports involving Facebook abuses and when I told them we are looking into the cases, they think that we want to ban the website,” he said.
He added that he had conducted a survey and the result indicated that 54% people who took part in it do not support the banning of Facebook, 24% supported the ban while the rest had neither agreed nor disagreed.
That’s great news!
However, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be using not just Facebook but other social media platforms too, with utmost caution. Start by being more responsible for what you share on the internet, especially Facebook.
Let’s cultivate the habit and educate others to do the same then perhaps Facebook (in Malaysia) will be a better place, with less abuse 🙂