Singapore – Select committee mulls ‘fake news’

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The Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA) recently participated with the Singapore Press Club in a parliament select committee on deliberate online falsehoods, or “fake news”, as they have become known.

The two groups believed that deliberate online falsehoods were a potential threat to social cohesion, and that there was a need to regulate intermediaries that enabled the spread of such material.

The committee attempted to highlight some of the challenges and identify falsehoods and their motivations.

The two groups reported to the committee that falsehoods can impact corporations, and affect public health and safety. And they said tech companies should be required to comply with directions regarding content on their platforms.

The SCCA, represented by the association’s president, Wong Taur Jiun, put the view that there was currently insufficient protections in place due to the speed with which online falsehoods can spread, and the general slowness and costliness of using the judicial system.

Both groups felt that executive take-down actions had a role to play, and that here must be a mechanism for subsequent applications to be made to set aside such take-down orders.