‘Fake news’ law
The new law comes amid a general tightening of controls on the internet in Singapore. Parliament is currently debating a sweeping new law designed to crack down on so-called “fake news,” which could see Facebook and other social media companies hit with big fines if they don’t comply with censorship orders.
Individuals found guilty of contravening the act can face fines of up to Singapore 50,000 SGD ($36,000) and custodial sentences of up to five years. If the “fake news” is posted using “an inauthentic online account or controlled by a bot,” the total potential fine rises to Singapore 100,000 SGD and the maximum sentence to 10 years in prison.
Companies such as Facebook, if found guilty of spreading “fake news,” can face fines of up to 1 million SGD.
What exactly constitutes “a false statement of fact” is to be defined by the government, which can then choose to issue a demand for a correction, removal of the offending post, or to pursue legal action against the poster or social network.
It also follows a trend of other countries in Asia using concerns about disinformation online to allegedly crack down on speech.
This content was originally published here.