Home News Featured News Financial Times calls Singapore's "disturbing" fake news law a "mistake"

Financial Times calls Singapore’s “disturbing” fake news law a “mistake”

FT: The best approach to tackle fake news is ensuring that readers question what they read.




- Advertisement -

The editorial board of the internationally-renowned Financial Times (FT) has called Singapore’s proposed legislation to deal with fake news “a mistake,” in a statement published on Monday (8 Apr).

Singapore’s Law Ministry tabled the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) in Parliament last week. The bill, which aims to provide the government with powers to act against online falsehoods to protect public interest, intends to give ministers the authority to determine what is an online falsehood.

The bill proposes that domain ministers can decide whether to take action under two conditions: when a false statement of a fact has been communicated in Singapore through the Internet, and when it is in the public interest to intervene.

In a statement on their website, the editors of FT — a Nikkei Inc-owned business and economic news publication that boasts nearly 1 million paid users and nearly a quarter of a million digital subscribers — noted that fake news has been spread by groups “ranging from authoritarian states to extremist groups” well before the term came to be used.

- Advertisement -

Calling laws like POFMA which aim to penalise purveyors of fake news “disturbing”, FT asserted: “Top-down approaches risk being abused and turning into censorship. The best way to tackle fake news is to teach consumers to identify and reject it.”

FT added that Singapore is “taking more far-reaching steps” than nations like Germany and France which have introduced legislation to deal with fake news. It asserted that “Such sweeping government intervention is a mistake.”

The publication noted that there is a “clear risk of a future in which governments dictate what is “true” to their populations” and that governments that implement such sweeping legislation could be accused of hiding the truth.

Suggesting that the best approach to tackle fake news is ensuring that readers question what they read, FT’s editorial board warned that “democracies must be wary of introducing anti-fake news laws that could be misused, and provide cover for authoritarian regimes to take ostensibly similar steps with more malicious intent.”

Read the editorial in full HERE.



https://theindependent.sg.sg/filmmaker-asks-ministers-to-clarify-exactly-what-constitutes-an-online-falsehood/Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

No tags for this post.
- Advertisement -

Cap of 5 people for social gatherings and household visits; Lawrence Wong warns of possibility of another circuit breaker

Singapore -- Octets out, quintets in. Social gatherings will be limited to five people, no more groups of eight. New restrictions are coming into place from May 8 to May 30 to curb the Covid-19 spike in Singapore. The new restrictions will take...

MOH asks hospitals to delay non-urgent surgeries to conserve resources for Covid patients

Singapore— With Covid-19 cases rising, the Ministry of Health (MOH) asked hospitals on Monday (May 3) to delay non-urgent surgeries and give priority to the treatment of Covid patients. In a statement, MOH said it is "working closely with all public and...

5 KTPH staff disciplined for ‘error’ that led to unnecessary treatment of breast cancer patients 

Singapore—Five staff members of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) have been disciplined for a laboratory incident that led to inaccurate test results and unnecessary treatment for some breast cancer patients. The staff members were disciplined for "not adequately performing their duties and...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

No tags for this post.