Watch: Mark Zuckerberg Struggles To Explain Whether Facebook Fact Checks Political Ads Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Facebook recently complied with Singapore’s “fake news” law by adding a correction notice to a post that the Singaporean government had previously tagged as fake news. Under its “fake news” law, Singapore allows government ministers to counter what they determine as fake news by ordering websites to publish disclaimers.

In compliance with Singapore’s new directive, giant social media company Facebook announced on Saturday that they added a written disclaimer below a posting by the States Times Review, a third party publishing company. “Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information,” the disclaimer reads.

That was the first time that Facebook issued a notice under the country’s controversial law. The move came after Singapore had claimed that the post contained “scurrilous accusations” about the arrest of an alleged whistleblower and election-rigging.

According to the Singaporean government, no one had been arrested and the accusations were a merely an attack against the elections department, the prime minister, and the election process in Singapore. This isn’t surprising, as The States Times Review is known as a frequent critic of the Singaporean government.

Despite Facebook’s notice, The States Times editor maintained that they had no intention of complying with a foreign government, referring to Singapore. Authorities have already ordered Tan to correct the post, but the Australian citizen reportedly refused.

Based on Singapore’s “fake news” law, websites like The States Times Review can appeal the decision to a court, provided that it complies immediately before the case is heard. Failure to comply with a POFMA order can result in a fine of S$1 million and an additional penalty of $100,00 for each day of non-compliance thereafter.

Known as the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation (POFMA) bill the fake news law came into effect in October this year. This law allows government order online platforms to take down and correct false statements that are against public interest.

Since the bill took effect, lawmakers in Singapore have had a divided opinion on the law. While the government believes it is necessary because ifs massive online population is vulnerable to troublemaking, critics of the bill say it is yet another example of the ruling PAP-led government stifling criticism.

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.