Unrestricted digital material can be fake news that destroys society – Dr Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13  — The abundant unrestricted reading material in the digital arena can be a source of fake news and other content that can destroy society, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

Dr Mahathir, who is acting Education Minister, said this is where the government and everyone else face  the challenge of having to differentiate between the truth and the fake, and to determine whether the content was derived from research or concocted at one’s whims and fancies.

“One of the challenges we face today in encouraging the reading culture is the digital influence on society. This digital influence is so huge that traditional reading sources such as newspapers and books are increasingly sidelined.

“Many newspaper companies have had to wind up due to dwindling sales and books are now gathering dust in libraries or on shelves. This, however, does not mean that the people have stopped reading. What has changed is the source of the reading material.

“In fact, today, almost all newspapers have a digital version and books have also been published digitally. In that respect, the reading culture is still very much alive,” he said in his speech at the launch of the National Reading Decade (DMK) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in Bangi near here.


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