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Facebook bows to Singapore’s ‘fake news’ law with post ‘correction’

by ace
Facebook bows to Singapore's 'fake news' law with post 'correction'

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Reuters

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Facebook said it was following the law by adding the patch label

Facebook has added a correction notice to a post that, according to the Singapore government, contains false information.

This is the first time Facebook has posted this warning under the controversial city-state "fake news" law.

Singapore said the post, through the independent news site States Times Review (STR), contained "crude accusations."

The note issued by the social media giant said that "the Singapore government is legally required to say that this post has false information."

The Facebook addition has been incorporated at the bottom of the original post, which has not changed. It was visible only to social media users in Singapore.

In a statement sent to the BBC, Facebook said it applied a label to a post "determined by the Singapore government to contain false information" as required by the "false news" law.

The company – which is headquartered in Asia in the city state – said it hoped that guarantees that the law would not impact freedom of expression "will lead to a measured and transparent approach to implementation."

How did we get here?

The States Times Review post contained accusations about the arrest of an alleged whistleblower and electoral fraud.

The government said no one had been arrested, and accused the STR of making "gross accusations against the election department, the prime minister and the electoral process in Singapore."

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Gov.sg/Screenshot

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A post on the Singapore government website said the STR post contained false statements

Authorities ordered editor Alex Tan to correct the posting, but the Australian citizen declined, saying he "not comply with any orders from a foreign government"

Authorities then asked Facebook to "post a correction notice" under the "fake news" law passed earlier this year.

What is the law of & # 39; false news & # 39;

The law, known as the Counterfeit Protection and Online Handling Act, came into force in October.

It allows the government to order online platforms to remove and correct what it considers to be false statements "contrary to the public interest".

A person found guilty of doing so in Singapore can be fined heavily and face a prison sentence of up to five years.

The law also prohibits the use of fake accounts or bots to spread fake news – this carries fines of up to $ 1 million (£ 563,000, $ 73,700) and a jail term of up to 10 years.

What was said about it?

Critics say the law threatens freedom of expression. Amnesty International said it would "give authorities uncontrolled powers to crack down on online views that they disapprove of."

But Singapore's law minister said freedom of expression "should not be affected by this bill," adding that the aim was only to combat "falsehoods, bots, trolls and fake accounts".

The government has argued that the law protects against abuse of power by allowing judicial review of its orders.

Has anyone else been affected?

Singapore's government first invoked the law on Monday to order opposition politician Brad Bowyer to correct a Facebook post questioning the independence of state investment funds.

Bowyer complied, adding a note to the post that "contains false statements of fact."

On the same day, Bowyer wrote a new post saying that "it was not against being asked to make clarifications or corrections, especially if it is in the public interest."

But on Thursday, Mr. Bowyer clarified your previous statementsaying, "Although I have no problem following the law … that doesn't mean I agree with the position they are taking or admit any false statement on my part."

He also said that under the law he should post the correction notice "regardless of whether I make an appeal".

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Facebook bows to Singapore's 'fake news' law with post 'correction'

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