July 16, 2019

Singapore enacts law against “fake news”

ISLAMABAD: Singapore’s parliament has recently enacted a law against “fake news” to curtail disinformation.

As per detail, the law requires online platforms to remove any content that is deemed as false by the government. Furthermore, the alleged perpetrators of disinformation could be fined up to US$ 735,000 or imprisoned up to 10 years in jail.

Technology Companies and human rights advocates condemned this move and expressed apprehensions about its implication on freedom of expression.

Guardian quoted technology companies Facebook and Google who said that this law gave too much power to government in deciding what was true or false.

Human Rights Watch Deputy Director Asia Phil Robertson  was quoted as saying: “Singapore’s leaders have crafted a law that will have a chilling affect on internet freedom throughout south-east Asia, and likely start a new set of information wars as they try to impose their narrow version of ‘truth’ on the wider world.”

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Law Minister K Shanmugam stated that this law did not pose any threat to freedom of expression. “Free speech should not be affected by this bill. We are talking here about falsehoods. We are talking about bots … trolls … fake accounts and so on,”

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