A Malaysian news site was fined roughly $ 124,000 for five comments from readers at the bottom of an article.
News outlet Malaysiakini launched a fundraising campaign to cover the fine of RM500,000.
And thecould The news site has collected more than 505,000 MYR in the four hours since it launched the donation drive.
But human rights defenders say: The news site was targeted because of its reports on government corruption, and they are concerned that the case may destroy political discourse online.
And thementioned The New York Times verdict, in which a panel of judges found the Malaysiakini news outlet guilty of contempt of court.
The court said: The comments clearly mean that the judiciary has committed violations, is involved in corruption, does not maintain justice, and undermines its integrity, and these comments threaten the public’s confidence in the judiciary and clearly aim to distort the administration of justice.
But the court said: He should have preemptively modified the comments and never allowed them to appear online.
News outlet Malaysiakini is a prominent independent outlet and has won international awards for its reporting over the past two decades.
He faced periodic legal harassment within the country, culminating in the contempt of court charges that were filed last year.
Co-founder (Steven Gan) also faced jail charges.
Gunn’s situation was compared to that of Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, who was accused by authorities of defamation online after her website Rappler published a critical report.
But unlike Risa, who was convicted last year, Jan was acquitted of the personal charges.
The Times reported that this was the first case of its kind against a news outlet in Malaysia, and Amnesty International in Malaysia described it as a serious setback for freedom of expression in the country.
But Malaysia’s online campaign reflects an international push to make sites legally responsible for what users post, including in the United States, where lawmakers have targeted a legal rule that provides comprehensive protection against liability.