Author: Asia Centre
Year: December 22, 2021
Media Freedom in Southeast Asia: Repeal Restrictive Laws, Strengthen Quality Journalism examines the use of fake news legislation to crack down on legitimate journalistic expression. Seeking to control the flow of information in the online space, governments have enacted these laws to monitor and control the internet infrastructure over which information critical or unflattering of the government can be disseminated. The laws contain vaguely-worded provisions penalising the act of spreading disinformation or information that authorities consider harmful to national security, public order and social harmony. While the negative dimensions of online content are of concern, the increased use of these legislation erodes media freedom. Instead, the report recommends that the focus should be on promoting the responsible use of online media platforms that can empower credible actors to counterbalance online disinformation through verified information and strengthen quality journalism.
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