SINGAPORE (The Adobo Chronicles, Singapore Bureau) – The Associated Press is reporting that Singapore has passed a law criminalizing publication of fake news and allowing the government to block and order the removal of such content.
The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill passed Wednesday night by a vote of 72-9, a lawmaker with the opposition Worker’s Party, Daniel Goh, said on Twitter.
The law bans falsehoods that are prejudicial to Singapore or likely to influence elections and requires service providers to remove such content or allows the government to block it. Offenders could face a jail term of up to 10 years and hefty fines.
The new law would all but ban Rappler and Vera Files in Singapore. Both have been designated fact-checkers of the social media network, Facebook.
A news media analyst based in Singapore told The Adobo Chronicles that because Rappler and Vera Files post their verdict on fake news on their respective sites, they would be covered by the new law since, in effect, they are still a colluding party liable for publishing the fake news they are checking.