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‘Sharing a lie makes you a liar’ says Telekom Malaysia in anti-fake news campaign

Telekom Malaysia has launched an aggressive outdoor campaign in Kuala Lumpur targeting youths who may feel tempted to share fake news.

The broadband powerhouse has splashed out on a series of MRT billboards bearing the slogan ‘Sharing a lie makes you a liar’ juxtaposed images of young people on their phones bearing long Pinocchio-style noses.

Unveiled as tension heightens over proposals by the Malaysian government to jail fake news ‘perpetrators’ for up to 10 years, the campaign concludes with the slogan ‘Stop ‘Fitnah [rebellious] Internet’ and an accompanying hashtag #FITNET.

The proposals, tabled as Malaysia prepares to hold a general election, have drawn widespread concern from both international and local media owners as well as Human Rights groups. Independent news site The Malaysiakini went as far as to call the potential bill an “Orwellian nightmare”.

Created by Grey Kuala Lumpur, with media planning and buying overseen by UM, the campaign is understood not to be linked to the government’s bill.

A TM spokesperson said: “The TM #FITNET visual is part of our public service announcement campaign to educate members of the public to stop spreading fake news via social media.”

In addition to the OOH, TM’s broadband brand UniFi has also been active in promoting the message on its Twitter page, while additional campaign elements are expected to be unveiled next week.

 

Although emerging amid fraught political circumstances, the campaign has sparked bafflement and amusement from social media users due to its hashtag #FITNET – which some remarked sounded more appropriate for an online fitness movement.

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