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

Facebook bows to Singapore's 'fake news' law with post 'correction'
Source: BBC
Date: 01-12-2019 Time: 01:12:50:am

Facebook has added a correction notice to a post that Singapore's government said contained false information.

It is the first time Facebook has issued such a notice under the city-state's controversial "fake news" law.

Singapore claimed the post, by fringe news site States Times Review (STR), contained "scurrilous accusations".

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

Facebook's addition was embedded at the bottom of the original post, which was not altered. It was only visible to social media users in Singapore.

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

The company - which has its Asia headquarters in the city-state - said it hoped assurances that the law would not impact on free 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 election-rigging.

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