- A law that forbids all form of fake news in Singapore has reportedly been passed
- The law will punish offenders of fake stories with 10 years jail term and fines
- Opponent of the law, however, said the new rule gives government too much control
Singapore has reportedly passed the law make it a crime to publish or spread fake news as the government is now empowered to remove such content.
The law named the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill was passed on Wednesday night, May 8, by a vote of 72-9, Time reports.
The law is targeted against falsehoods that are harmful to Singapore or likely to influence the country’s election, and will demand that they are removed by service providers.
Anyone caught in the act of spreading fake news could face up to 10 years imprisonment with heavy fines.
The opponents to the bill in the parliament, however, said that law will give government officials too much power to say what is false or not.
Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch strongly criticised the bill as one that is a “disaster for online expression by ordinary Singaporeans” and a bad one for the independence for online media.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in defense of the bill, however, said that many countries have the law and that Singapore has been debating it for two years. He rejected the view that the law could affect free speech in the country, which already has very strict laws on public protests and dissent.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka said the spread of fake news has become a threat to mankind and may cause World War 3.
His words: “I’ve said this before that fake news may cause World War 3 and the fake news will be started by a Nigerian.”
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