MMC to penalize three websites for spreading fake news

Maldives Media Council (MMC) holds a meeting. (Photo/MMC)

Maldives Media Council (MMC) decided on Wednesday to create a mechanism to regulate unregistered medias in the Maldives, and to penalize news websites that publish fake news.

The decision comes after authorities blocked two anti-government news websites in December. However, the websites were unblocked a week later, following backlash.

In a statement on Thursday, MMC said that the Maldives Media Council Act defines both registered an unregistered websites as “medias.” The council said that it is therefore legally obligated to monitor and regulate both types of news websites.

MMC said it has received multiple complaints regarding three unregistered news sites in particular. They are:


MMC said that multiple complainants have accused the three websites of propagating false and misleading information.

The council said it found some of the information published on the sites were “clearly false”, and that it was therefore investigating the three websites.

MMC said that many of its members were concerned over the lack of action to stop the spread of fake news, and that the council has therefore decided to formulate policies in order to create an effective mechanism to monitor unregistered medias.

“This work will proceed soon, with input from medias, relevant associations, state institutions, and members of the general public,” said the MMC.

MMC appealed to medias against spreading false information that infringe on the rights of others when exercising the right to freedom of expression.

The council said that sites that repeatedly publish fake news will be penalized.