Home News Featured News Singapore orders anti-govt website to warn readers of falsehoods

Singapore orders anti-govt website to warn readers of falsehoods

The Facebook page of The States Times Review is required to carry a notice warning readers that it "has a history of communicating falsehoods", the statement said.

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Singapore ordered the Facebook page of an anti-government website Saturday to warn readers it regularly posts falsehoods, the first time authorities have taken such action under a tough law against misinformation.

The law gives ministers in the tightly-regulated city powers to order internet platforms to put warnings next to posts they deem false, but activists and tech giants like Facebook fear it could be used to curb free speech.

Authorities have used it several times to force corrections on individual online posts, but this is the first time since the law came into effect in October that an entity is being directed to warn its readers that it is a regular promoter of falsehoods.

A government statement said the information minister had invoked the law to name the Facebook page of The States Times Review (STR) as a “declared online location” with effect from Sunday.

- Advertisement -

This means it is required to carry a notice warning readers that it “has a history of communicating falsehoods”, the statement said.

The notice aims to prompt readers to do additional fact-checking when accessing the page.

According to the statement, STR “has repeatedly conveyed numerous falsehoods” since November last year, three of which had been ordered corrected under the law.

And in the past weeks, its Facebook page also spread falsehoods about the coronavirus situation in Singapore, it said.

The website is run by Alex Tan, who says he is an Australian citizen based overseas.

He has defied the correction orders, prompting the Singapore government to ask Facebook to do so. Facebook has complied.

In a statement in November after posting a correction, Facebook said: “As it is early days of the law coming into effect, we hope the Singapore Government’s assurances that it will not impact free expression will lead to a measured and transparent approach to implementation.”

The increased use of the law comes as speculation mounts that elections could be called within months, although a weak opposition is seen as no match for the long-ruling People’s Action Party.

Singapore’s government, which regularly faces criticism for curbing civil liberties, insists the legislation is necessary to stop the spread of damaging falsehoods online.

mba/mtp

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Almost 8 out of 10 vote PN can’t survive GE 15 without UMNO

Almost eight out of 10 respondents on a Twitter survey voted that Bersatu will not survive GE-15 without UMNO, according to BFM radio survey held this morning (22/2/2021) during its Morning Run programme. Of the 206 voters (respondents) in the final countdown,...

Foodpanda rider called “Blur Sotong” by netizen

Singapore — A Foodpanda rider shared his unfortunate experience with a customer. He took to Facebook on Saturday morning (Feb 20), sharing screenshots of the conversation. Posted by Chan Okada SJ on Friday, 19 February 2021 The rider shared that the customer had asked...

Journalist claims Karen Mok is the only woman Stephen Chow has ever thought of marrying

Hong Kong -- Last year, comedian Stephen Chow's public and ugly legal battle with his former girlfriend over their finances gave a rare peek into the personal life of the fiercely private 58-year-old. It was reported that out of all the women...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent