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Facebook instructed to publish correction on post after States Times Review editor refuses to comply with fake news law

Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue a “targeted correction direction” to Facebook

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The office in-charge of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) has directed Facebook to issue a correction notice on a post by States Times Review (STR) earlier today (Nov 29).

The instruction came after STR’s Editor Alex Tan Zhi Xiang said on STR’s Facebook page on Thursday (Nov 28) that they “will not comply with any order from a foreign government”.

The 32-year-old Singaporean runs the States Times Review website and Facebook page.

Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue a “targeted correction direction” to Facebook.

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On 23 November 2019, STR put up a Facebook post, which alleged that the People’s Action Party will be fielding a Christian evangelist in the upcoming General Election to win Christian votes.

The STR post also said that the “whistleblower” who had exposed the PAP candidate’s Christian affiliations had been arrested and faced police charges for fabricating fake news.

A statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that, “These claims are false and baseless”.

They added that “The STR article also makes various other scurrilous allegations including on our elections process. These allegations are absurd”.

The POFMA Office has also commenced investigations against Tan for failing to comply.

According to POFMA, failure to comply with such directions could result in a fine of up to S$1 million. In the case of a continuing offence, there could be a further fine of up to S$100,000 for every day, or part of a day, during which the offence continues after conviction. /TISG

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