Online misinformation is a huge problem across the globe, and different countries are taking their own routes to tackle it. Singapore is set to pass a law that would make sites accountable for “fake news,” according to The Straits Times.
The proposed law would allow Singapore’s government to remove content violating its new rules, The Straits Times reported. This falls under the Protection from the Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill, which was introduced in Singapore’s parliament on Monday.
Under the law, sites would also have to show corrections or display warnings about misinformation. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated, according to The Straits Times, “In extreme and urgent cases, the legislation will also require online news sources to take down fake news before irreparable damage is done.”
Other countries are fighting to stop the spread of misinformation as well. Singapore’s proposed law is reminiscent of one in Malaysia, which also criminalizes fake news. It was highly controversial when proposed and some worried that it was the government’s latest attempt to stifle valuable information, as reported by Engadget.
Plus, WhatsApp has launched a fact-checking tip line for users in India ahead of the country’s elections, TechCrunch reported. This is important because there can be a lot of misinformation on WhatsApp and —before this — there was no way to fact-check within the app.
There are some concerns around Singapore’s proposed laws because the country already has strict media regulations. According to Engadget, free speech advocates worry that the government’s crackdowns are stifling online innovation and free expression.