Singapore—Fabrications About the PAP, a Facebook page known for its decidedly pro-ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) views, was taken down by the social media giant on Sunday (June 28), just two days ahead of this year’s Nomination Day.
Many netizens heralded this as good news, feeling that the page had gone too far many times in the past in slamming the opposition.
According to Facebook, the page, as well as several other unnamed ones, had been removed from the platform due to violations of its policies.
A spokesperson from the social media company told members of the press, “These accounts were discovered during our ongoing proactive work to find and take action on accounts that violate our policies.
This action is based on the behaviour of these accounts, not based on the content they posted.”
Fabrications About the PAP was founded by Jason Chua (Chua Chin Seng). Mr Chua received a warning from the police for violating Cooling-Off Day regulations after the by-election in Bukit Batok in 2016.
It is well-known among Singaporeans for criticizing opposition parties and figures, as well as for its aggressive pro-government stance, and had more than 250,000 likes.
Earlier this month, Facebook said that it had assigned teams to monitor the elections in Singapore for “coordinated” or “inauthentic behaviour” since July 2019. The social media company added that it will check on accounts to remove those that are purported to be from candidates or officials but are actually impersonations. It will also have an election day reminder service to direct users to information from the website of Singapore’s Elections Department.
Facebook came under criticism in 2016 for alleged interference from Russia in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States.
Netizens’ reactions to the removal of Fabrications About the PAP have been favourable, with some saying that the page embarrassed the ruling party more than giving it support.
Some readers were glad that the page had been removed, given that it had “smear(ed)” the opposition many times in the past.
Some said the country now had no need for POFMA, the law passed last year against online falsehoods, now that Facebook was policing itself.
Others commented that this year’s GE has begun to really heat up.