Malaysian news site fined $124,000 for five reader comments

Malaysian news site fined $124,000 for five reader comments

Photo by MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images

A Malaysian news site was fined the equivalent of nearly $124,000 for five comments below an article. News outlet Malaysiakini has raised money to cover the fee of 500,000 ringgit, but human rights advocates say it was targeted for its reporting on government corruption, and they worry that the case could chill political speech online.

The New York Times reported the verdict on Friday, when a panel of judges found Malaysiakini guilty of contempt of court. The outlet argued that it wasn’t responsible for reader comments, and it removed them after police warned that the comments illegally insulted Malaysia’s judiciary. But the court said it should have preemptively moderated the comments and never allowed them online.

Malaysiakini is a…

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