Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong has warned Singaporeans not to spread fake news unknowingly and to be wary of or to fear POFMA, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Jan 29), ESM Goh wrote, “We should ‘kiaPOFMA’. Do not fall for fake news or spread it unwittingly”.
His comment comes after an anecdote he shared where someone had asked: “in my earlier post on whether a person should quarantine himself till 1/2/20 if his mother-in-law arrived from Wuhan on 18/1/20”.
Quoting the Ministry of Health, ESM Goh said, “There is no need if the mother-in-law is well. However, she should monitor herself for any fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or breathlessness. If she is symptomatic, she should put on a mask and seek medical help immediately. In addition, everyone should observe the usual recommended good hygiene measures”.
Calling for Singaporeans to stay vigilant, ESM Goh called for netizens to check reliable sources for correct information, such as the Ministry of Health’s website.
“We need a whole-of-nation effort to stop the imported Wuhan virus from going local. Thank you all for playing your part”, he concluded his post.
Emphasising upon accurate information being spread, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) yesterday (Jan 30), said that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Search, Baidu and HardwareZone will no longer be exempted from general correction directions (GCD) under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).
MCI said the exemptions will be lifted on Friday (Jan 31) “given the evolving situation with the Wuhan coronavirus”.
In their statement, the MCI also added that the government was prepared to use all tools at its disposal to provide the public with accurate and up-to-date information, and to deal with falsehoods that may cause panic or confusion. /TISG