Singapore: Planned law to fight false information online could be used against govt. critics

Author: Mike Ives & Raymond Zhong, NY Times (USA), Published on: 2 April 2019

"Singapore Plans Law to Fight False News, but Critics Fear Repression", 01 Apr 2019

Singapore introduced draft legislation on Monday that it said would combat false or misleading information on the internet, but critics said [it] could be used as a cudgel against...government’s critics....Bill... would require websites to run corrections alongside “online falsehoods” and would “cut off profits” of sites that spread misinformation.... The bill is widely expected to become law.... Critics say [it] could put...online publishers in legal jeopardy... including foreign media... Google and Twitter said [they] were...reviewing the bill.  “Misinformation is a significant challenge, and one that we are working hard to address,” said...Google spokesman. “We will study the bill to determine our next steps, and urge the government to allow for a full and transparent public consultation...” ...Facebook’s vice president for public policy in...Asia-Pacific...[said] that the social network supported regulation that “strikes the right balance between reducing harm while protecting people’s rights to meaningful speech.”  “We are, however, concerned with aspects of the law that grant broad powers to the Singapore executive branch to compel us to remove content they deem to be false and proactively push a government notification to users”... Companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter were once lauded for leading free speech and public discourse into a new age. Now, they are more likely to be blamed for providing an outlet for misinformation...

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