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Singapore passes law against broadcasting fake news

Christian Fernsby |
After two days of debates, the Singapore Parliament passed a law to penalize the broadcast of fake news on the Internet with up to 10 years in prison, local media reported.


According to the new regulation, the government can demand social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, to place an alert on the contents classified as fake, and in serious cases demand their removal.

If an action is described as detrimental to Singapore's interests, the companies will face a fine equivalent to 735,000 dollars while individuals could be sentenced to a 10-year maximum penalty in jail.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, K.Shanmugam, to confront criticism by opponents and activists who see the measure as an attack on freedom of expression, told The Straits Times that the law is not a political tool for the ruling party to exercise power.

Singaporean lawmakers who supported the project explained the need to implement the measure to prevent the broadening of fake news, which led to both social divisions, and mistrust in the government.

For critics of the legislation, the main concern was that the law be abused to stifle political discourse although according to the approved draft, the regulation excludes opinions, criticisms, satires or parodies from sanctions.


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