Facebook issues correction notice on user's post as Singapore Govt calls it fake information
Facebook had issued a correction notice on a user’s post at the request of the Singapore government, while also pressing for a measured approach to the implementation of a new “fake news” law in the city-state.
“Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information,” said the notice, which is visible only to Singapore users.
The correction label was embedded at the bottom of the original post without any alterations to the text.
The Singapore government admitted that it had instructed Facebook “to publish a correction notice” on a 23 November post which contained accusations about the arrest of a supposed whistleblower and election rigging. Singapore, which is expected to hold its general elections within months, said the allegations were “false” and “scurrilous” and initially ordered user Alex Tan, who runs the States Times Review blog, to issue the correction notice on the post.
Tan, who does not live in Singapore and says he is an Australian citizen, refused and authorities said he is now under investigation.
Facebook often blocks content that governments allege violate local laws, with nearly 18,000 cases globally in the year to June, according to the company’s “transparency report.”
The correction notice was however could not be seen by some Singapore users. Facebook could not immediately explain why the notice was unavailable to some users. Two years in the making and implemented only last month, Singapore’s law is the first to demand that Facebook publish corrections when directed to do so by the government.
“As it is early days of the law coming into effect, we hope the Singapore government’s assurances that it will not impact free expression will lead to a measured and transparent approach to implementation,” a spokesman for Facebook said in an emailed statement.