Fb bows to Singapore’s ‘pretend information’ legislation with put up ‘correction’

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Reuters

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Fb stated it was following the legislation by including the correction label


Fb has added a correction discover to a put up that Singapore’s authorities stated contained false info.

It’s the first time Fb has issued such a discover below the city-state’s controversial “pretend information” legislation.


Singapore claimed the put up, by fringe information website States Instances Overview (STR), contained “scurrilous accusations”.

The notice issued by the social media large stated it “is legally required to let you know that the Singapore authorities says this put up has false info”.

Fb’s addition was embedded on the backside of the unique put up, which was not altered. It was solely seen to social media customers in Singapore.

In an emailed assertion to the BBC, Fb stated it had utilized a label to a put up “decided by the Singapore authorities to comprise false info”, as required below the “pretend information” legislation.

The corporate – which has its Asia headquarters within the city-state – stated it hoped assurances that the legislation wouldn’t impression on free expression “will result in a measured and clear strategy to implementation”.

How did we get right here?

The States Instances Overview put up contained accusations concerning the arrest of an alleged whistleblower and election-rigging.

The federal government stated nobody had been arrested, and accused the STR of constructing “scurrilous accusations in opposition to the elections division, the prime minister, and the election course of in Singapore”.

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Gov.sg/Screenshot

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A put up on the Singaporean authorities web site stated the STR put up contained false statements

Authorities ordered editor Alex Tan to right the put up however the Australian citizen refused, saying he would “not adjust to any order from a international authorities”.

Authorities then known as on Fb to “publish a correction discover” in keeping with the “pretend information” legislation handed earlier this yr.

What’s the ‘pretend information’ legislation?

The legislation, generally known as the Safety from On-line Falsehoods and Manipulation invoice, got here into impact in October.

It permits the federal government to order on-line platforms to take away and proper what it deems to be false statements which are “in opposition to the general public curiosity”.

An individual discovered responsible of doing this in Singapore might be fined closely and face a jail sentence of as much as 5 years.

The legislation additionally bans using pretend accounts or bots to unfold pretend information – this carries penalties of as much as S$1m (£563,000, $733,700) and a jail time period of as much as 10 years.

What’s been stated about it?

Critics say the legislation threatens freedom of expression. Amnesty Worldwide stated it could “give authorities unchecked powers to clamp down on on-line views of which it disapproves”.

However Singapore’s legislation minister stated free speech “shouldn’t be affected by this invoice”, including that it was aimed solely at tackling “falsehoods, bots, trolls and faux accounts”.

The federal government has argued that the legislation safeguards in opposition to abuse of energy by permitting judicial critiques of its orders.

Has anybody else been affected?

Singapore’s authorities invoked the legislation for the primary time on Monday to order opposition politician Brad Bowyer to right a Fb put up questioning the independence of state funding funds.

Mr Bowyer complied, including a notice to the put up saying it “accommodates false statements of truth”.

On the identical day, Mr Bowyer wrote a brand new put up saying he was “not in opposition to being requested to make clarifications or corrections particularly whether it is within the public curiosity”.

However on Thursday, Mr Bowyer clarified his earlier assertion, saying: “Though I’ve no issues in following the legislation…that doesn’t imply that I agree with the place they’re taking or admit to any false statements on my half.”

He additionally stated that, below the legislation, he should put up the correction discover “no matter whether or not I make an attraction”.

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