Deliberate Online Falsehood
Deliberate Online Falsehood Singapore Government

A Select Committee has called for new laws, which will grant the Singapore government powers to deal with the issues related to online falsehoods. As per the released report that contains 176-page and was submitted to parliament on Wednesday, September 19 the country has been the "subject of foreign, state-sponsored disinformation operations".

The committee made a total of 22 recommendations and includes passing legislation, seeking assistance from technology companies to take required steps to disrupt the spreading of fake news on their online platforms and creating a guideline for the public to identify the difference between false and authentic news.

The oral representation from 65 individuals and organisations also heard during the public hearing that held in March 2018.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Charles Chong, who chaired the 10-member committee, was appointed in January this year to examine the problem of online fake news and assigned to provide the measurements that Singapore should take to prevent and fight against such falsehoods.

The committee said that unfortunately there is no particular solution "to combat this complex problem and a multi-pronged approach is necessary."

But, the committee has proposed short- and long-term measures that will require the assistance from five sectors, such as media organization, technology companies, community leaders and volunteers and most importantly the Government.

In terms of disrupting online falsehoods, which is one of the important recommendations made by the committee, they said that the Government should have the power to block or limit the spread of fake news and discredit such sources. They also added that this process will definitely require legislation, which would disrupt the spread and influence of the fake stories effectively.

The recommendations also aimed at the nurturing an informed public, promoting fact checking, reinforcing social cohesion and dealing with threats to national security and sovereignty.

However, instant measures could including take-down powers, blocking access, and tagging corrections and notifications.

The committee also asked the Government to cut off the digital advertising revenue of those sources, who are responsible for spreading fake news and impose criminal actions against them in serious cases, such as creating public disorder or manipulating the election process.