Singapore’s answer to fake news: correction and takedown orders, fines and jail

Here’s a story I wrote for N3Magazine, the annual magazine of the Asian American Journalists Association’s Asia conference, held in May 2019 at Hong Kong University.

By Tom Benner

Singapore passed a far-reaching new law on May 9 to combat the problem of online falsehoods.

Singaporean lawmakers voted to grant government ministers broad powers such as the ability to demand corrections, order the removal of content, or block websites deemed to be propagating falsehoods contrary to the public interest.

Penalties for not complying with orders include steep fines and jail time.

While Germany has passed a law allowing for takedown orders on social media sites, that law is specifically focused on hate speech.

Singapore’s law goes further, allowing government ministers to singlehandedly decide if an online post is factually incorrect and contrary to the public interest. Read more …

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