Minister of Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam named 3 prominent and active socio-political websites for publishing fake and false news – All Singapore Stuff (ASS), States Times Review (STR) and The Online Citizen (TOC).
Referencing ASS and STR the Minister said: “They can cause harm to innocent Singaporeans; they can cause unnecessary alarm to the public; emergency resources may be diverted from legitimate emergencies and the reputation of honest Singapore businesses may be unfairly damaged.”
Saying that his Ministry is “seriously considering” how to combat such falsehoods, he stressed that current laws are “ineffective to stem the circulation of falsehoods, given how quickly they go viral today.”
“They can cause harm to innocent Singaporeans; they can cause unnecessary alarm to the public; emergency resources may be diverted from legitimate emergencies and the reputation of honest Singapore businesses may be unfairly damaged…Even when the articles are not totally fake, they are highly misleading, and the whole purpose is to pervade falsehoods and mislead the public” – Mr K Shanmugam
He assured Parliament that he is not concerned with “trivial, factual inaccuracies, but with falsehoods that can cause real harm.”
In responding to a parliamentary question if making “false and malicious allegations” against police will become a punishable offence, the Minister referenced an article published in TOC which alleged that the Police had accused a wheelchair-bound man of motorcycle theft and said: “The time has come for us not to simply rebut but to actually actively deal with it – so that the people who seek to profit from such conduct will actually feel the pain of it.”
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