Singapore’s Fake News Law Shows How Not to Address Disinformation Online

A person reads a news report about Facebook on their mobile phone, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 20, 2018 (AP photo).
A person reads a news report about Facebook on their mobile phone, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 20, 2018 (AP photo).
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When Singapore’s government enacted a law aimed at cracking down on fake news last fall, activists, academics and free speech advocates warned that it was a pretext by the ruling People’s Action Party to censor voices critical of the government. The Protection of Online Falsehoods and Manipulation law, or POFMA, allows the government to force social media platforms and users to issue corrections or remove any offending posts. Failure to comply can result in steep fines or even a jail sentence Since it was passed, the law has been invoked several times against opposition figures and media outlets critical of […]

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