Singaporean legislation has arisen called “protection from online falsehoods and manipulation act” or POFMA. The act is to prevent incitement of hatred based on fake news and rumors. Most recently, it’s been targeting people spreading rumors on coronavirus outbreaks.

Any website or commentators that are a danger to Public Health, security, or foreign relations, including “diminished public confidence in government,” is handed over to a group or individual minister(s). He decides what is deemed false or misleading. Then issues a correction notice. Any breach of the new rules can result in a substantial fine and or a year in prison.

POFMA has been enacted ten times since October, mostly against opposition figures (there is an upcoming general election). One to the Singapore Democratic Party (DSP) for publishing data on redundancies and unemployment. DSP went to the supreme court but failed in their bid to overturn it. Another case against a Malaysian watchdog “Lawyers for Liberty” got a correction notice for posting an article about Singapore’s death penalty laws; their website has now been banned.

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