Unfiltered content on social media can corrupt minds

29 May 2023 08:58am
MCCA president Siraj Jalil
MCCA president Siraj Jalil

SHAH ALAM - The widespread dissemination of unfiltered content in social media platforms can influence the thoughts, trends and habits of a society.

Malaysian Cyber Consumers Association (MCCA) president Siraj Jalil said the repetition of certain content that is dominant on social media can form a society thoughts and emotions towards certain content.

“If it was political content that we keep watching, then political content will be the main thought in our brain and will play a role on how we form certain emotions," he told Sinar

Siraj said the lax restrictions and awareness of social media have caused a lot of slanderous, negative and unfiltered content to spread.

He said this has caused the public to be easily confused with the credibility of content on certain platforms.

“Some examples of the negative effect of unfiltered content towards the public have forced the government to establish the sebenarnya.my website.

“The initiative is good, but if it has reached up to that point for the government to establish a portal to confirm information, that would mean the fake content being disseminated has reached an uncontrollable level

“This mean that it has caused the public to have difficulties identifying information that is real.” he said.

He said the public especially the youth must be given early awareness early through exposure or an education syllabus regarding the matter at a school level.

He explained the government and parents play an important rule in ensuring that they are aware of misusing social media platforms.

“The solution is for the government to create a digital or cyber consumerism education and implement it early in our education system

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“We can’t prevent our children from accessing gadgets or phones because it would stunt their mental growth from a technological standpoint.

“However, when they use these gadgets we must advise them in terms of the law, educate them on moral values and regulate their usage,” he said.

Siraj added that the government needed to plan an integrated method to foster reading habits among the public in the nation especially the youth to reduce dependency on social media.

Meanwhile, Senator Datuk Seri Dr Awang Sariyan said the important role of educating should include the efforts of all parties including parents and family members.

Dewan Negara member Senator Datuk Seri Dr Awang Sariyan.
Dewan Negara member Senator Datuk Seri Dr Awang Sariyan.

He said the preparation of a reading corner or space at a home, park and institution can be one of the methods to encourage reading among the public.

“Educational institutions, libraries or resource centres should not only prepare reading materials, but must have activities such as book discussions, quizzes, sketches and others based on reading materials.

“In the Sultan Ahmad Shah Vocational College in Kuala Lipis for example we have the Awang Sariyan Knowledge Centre, where we house a number of reading materials that students could use in their free time,” he told Sinar.

Awang Sariyan said the act of reading should not be measured by the number of books, pages and quantity of materials that is being read

He said there must be an instrument or a mechanism to measure the reading culture among the public.

“Now the reading materials and sources are expanding in several forms of media such as e-books, visuals as well as other materials including social media.

“What’s important is to take advantage of all forms of media that have scientific value and useful information,” he said.

He said parents, teachers, and friends could become advisors or a guide for youths in choosing quality reading materials.

“Both books and social media have their advantages and disadvantages, although it may be true that social media is more likely to be inauthentic due to the lack of control.

“Books without any quality control by publishers could be exposed to several weaknesses, it would be more apparent as a writer can become a publisher and the same applies for social media writers.

“What’s important is to educate children and students to choose good reading materials regardless of books or other sources in the form of electronic publications and others,” he said.

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