Malaysia says will look into bot activity on Twitter, upon complaints

FILE PHOTO - The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian regulators will look into the activity of automated accounts on Twitter, known as bots, in the run-up to a general election if they get complaints about them, the communications and multimedia minister said.

Reuters reported on Friday that bots were flooding Twitter with tens of thousands of pro-government and anti-opposition messages, just weeks before Malaysia's May 9 election.

The information technology bureau of Prime Minister Najib Razak's ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation, said it was not behind the bots and it did not know who was.

Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak said on Twitter that bots could be used anonymously by anybody and his ministry would respond to complaints.

"As a regulator MCMC will work closely with providers such as Twitter and Facebook upon complaints," Salleh said late on Saturday, referring to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

He did not refer to the Reuters report.

Twitter and Facebook are under scrutiny in the United States where lawmakers suspect their platforms were used as part of a suspected Russian effort to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

The Kremlin has denied the accusations.

Twitter allows bot accounts but with restrictions. In February, Twitter said it would no longer allow people to post identical messages from multiple accounts, cracking down on a tactic that Russian agents and others have allegedly used to make topics go viral.

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Robert Birsel)

You may also interested in

Hacker posts personal info of House Democrats and...

Aug 13, 2016

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling it "an electronic Watergate break-in."

Webcam whale research buoyed by viewers around...

Aug 15, 2016

Canadian researchers are turning to internet to learn about the social behavior thousands of beluga...

Tesla: Removal of 'Autopilot' from Chinese site a...

Aug 15, 2016

Tesla says the term "Autopilot" was mistakenly removed from the electric car maker's website for...

Congress receives FBI notes from Clinton interview

Aug 17, 2016

Congress has received FBI documents related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a...

Ford says it will have a fully autonomous car by...

Aug 17, 2016

Ford Motor Co. intends to have a fully driverless vehicle _ no steering wheel, no pedals _ on the...

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com