The government of Malaysia said Friday that it will prosecute Meta Platforms for the failures of Facebook to comply with its requests to remove content.
In a statement, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said that Facebook “has recently been plagued by a significant volume of undesirable contents” relating to the aspects of “race, royalty, religion, defamation, impersonation, online gambling as well as scam advertisements.” It said that it had asked Facebook to remove some content.
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“Despite repeated requests from MCMC, Meta has failed to take sufficient action to address the issue of undesirable contents on its platform and has not fully cooperated with efforts to remove such contents. 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 agency said.
Variety has reached out to Meta for comment. But has not yet received a response.
In recent weeks, Malaysia has also asked the Telegram app to take down material that may have been part of online scams. Initially, the messaging app refused, but later said it was co-operating.
Malaysia is “utterly intolerant” towards “abuse of online platforms and telecommunications, network or online facilities for malicious cyber activities, phishing, or any contents that threatens [sic] racial stability, social harmony and defies respect for the rulers,” the MCMC statement said.
Muslim-majority Malaysia has also shown itself intolerant towards entertainment content with LGBT elements, putting it on a collision course with many western companies which are committed to increasing race and sexual diversity.
Malaysia’s Film Classification Board (LPF) asked for cuts to both Marvel’s “Thor” and to Pixar’s “Lightyear” animation, which Disney refused, causing both films to be effectively banned in the country. The Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin, said in August last year that the government is committed to banning more LGBT content and to curtailing gay culture.
With regional elections in the offing in August, the country’s authorities may currently also be enduring a sense of humor failure. In recent weeks, authorities have said they will ask Interpol for help locating a Singaporean woman comedian, Jocelyn Chia, whose live act in a New York club included a joke about the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in 2014 which disappeared from radar and has never been found.
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