Public urged to be responsible online

National 2 minutes, 31 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE public should act responsibly and ask themselves if what they are posting on social media is factual and appropriate, said an ICT expert.

“Currently we have 26% household penetration of which there are about 23,000 on wired broadband subscription and about 117% mobile penetration rate with 169,00 Internet users in Brunei,” said Hj Hairul Mohd Daud Hj Abd Karim, illustrating just how big of an impact it would be if negative content were measured according to the Internet usage.

The assistant chief executive, broadcasting and multimedia group, Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) was speaking during a talk entitled, “Content regulation and Social Media issues in Brunei Darussalam”, at the launching of the Cybersecurity Awareness Week 2013.

Hj Hairul explained that the Sultanate is moving towards a convergence of broadcast technology which has resulted in challenges to traditional content regulatory regimes.

“Communications are personalised and people can access content at their ease. Most of the content is interactive and user generated,” and this is generated over multiple platforms.

He noted how people are far more willing to interact with user generated content or content which is spread through word of mouth rather than traditional sources. The speed at which this content is spread makes monitoring challenging “since it is on a global scale”.

With social media there will be DRUMS which stand for distortion, rumour, untruth, misinformation and smears.

The implications are far-reaching and can be harmful to children, he explained, and it can also cause miscommunication if not mitigated.

According to Hj Hairul, it is vital for authorities to be quick in responding to any negative content that has gone viral.

With this in mind, he said that each ministry will still have to enforce issues within their jurisdiction, as if the incident had occured offline since, “ICT or the Internet is just a platform - relevant acts are still applicable for offences committed online and AITI (offers) assistance in coordination and technical assistance if required.”

He then cited regulatory tools and relevant legislation which can be used to regulate online content but then asks, “Is this enough to counter all the issues in social media?”

Hj Hairul said that their main concern is illegal content while their main focus is on public education and awareness.

The public should be educated on ethics and to be more responsible in creating content including the content they receive.

At the same time, the public should also be responsible when it comes to posting content online - it should be factual and appropriate.

It is an offence to send or spread false information to the public.

The public is also urged to observe what is everyone else is doing and ask themselves if they need to follow suit.

He also warned the public that everything they are doing online is being watched and they should take necessary precautions not be a victim.

Members of the public can report abusive and inappropriate behaviour to AITI at 2323232 or email info.cac@aiti.gov.bn.

The Brunei Times