Singapore orders Facebook to correct a “fake news” post
Singapore officials claim that the publication by States Times Review had false and provocative information. Asian country has first attempted to apply a new regulation in opposition to “fake news” in another country.
The STR publication comprised allegations about the arrest of a prospective whistle-blower and electoral fraud.
Singapore officials had urged STR founder Alex Tan to edit the publication, but he denied to do so, as he would "not follow up on any command from foreign officials."
Mr. Tan is an Australian citizen residing in Australia, although he was born in Singapore. He claims he is not subject to Singapore law. In a subsequent publication, Tan wrote that he would “challenge and oppose each unfair law.” He posted his publication on many other social networks and called on the authorities to make corrections on those sites too.
The Facebook’s notice said, "By law, you must be informed that the Singapore authorities claim this publication contains untrue information." The social network put the notice in addition to the original unchanged publication. The additional notice was shown only to Singaporean Facebook users.
Facebook reported it acted in accordance with requirements of the “fake news” regulation. The regulation, named as the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation, entered into force several months ago.
The regulation additionally prohibits to utilize fake accounts or bots as instruments to distribute untrue information. Violators can be fined up to S$1 million and sentenced to imprisonment for up to ten years.
Facebook, headquartered in Singapore, anticipated that the new regulation would not affect freedom of speech and “will result in a balanced and coherent method to realization.”