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How does the Government Plan to Deal with Deliberate Fake News Spread by State Media?

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UNCLE SUAN: Law Minister K Shanmugam is right – Singapore is “highly susceptible” to deliberate online falsehoods.

But how to tell the “deliberate” from the “honest mistake let’s move on” falsehoods?

There’s so much fake news going around online, and not just from foreigners or “alternative news” websites.

State media like SPH and Mediacorp press are just as guilty of spreading fake news, and they are more dangerous because they dictate print, radio and TV news too, not just the internet.

For every Punggol building cave-in fake news, there’s the nonsense “2 LRT trains ‘collided’ along the Sengkang Line” fake news – the collision one spread by Stomp and the Straits Times.

Or how former president S R Nathan was “voted” into office (it was a walkover lah, no voting).

Or how checking this one out: “10 Instances State Media ALSO Ran “Fake” News but Got Away with It”

How to tell which is “deliberate”?

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But then, there’s the very obvious “deliberate” fake news and again news agencies like the Straits Times can be found very guilty of that – at least according to complaints by its “victims”.

Like Dr Lee Wei Ling, who had this to say:

“I have had my articles edited by SPH editors prior to posting on Facebook. On selected issues, my main message was not allowed through or allowed through but blurred. I have since gone through three editors, and have come to the conclusion that the editors have been instructed to edit out “sensitive issues” in my articles.”

AWARE’s head of advocacy and research Jolene Tan also complained about her article for the Straits Times being doctored and her words twisted into “stigmatising language” when it came to describing divorced individuals

SDP chief Dr Chee Soon Juan also accused the SPH Chinese press of working as a platform for PAP MPs to attack his integrity during the 2016 Bukit Batok by-election – not “fake news” per se, but does “skewed enough” count for misrepresentation?

Calling fake news a scourge, Minister for Information and Communication Dr Yaacob Ibrahim said:

“In the Internet age, falsehoods can go viral in seconds. Digital content can be easily manipulated to make it more provocative, and stir emotions more easily. Anyone can publish or share falsehoods online, even from halfway around the world… The net result is that online falsehoods can destabilise societies far more easily than ever before.”

So, will the government take its own state media organs to task for fake news and be as harsh in its condemnation with them too?

If not, then why the double standards?

Unless only falsehoods spread foreign entities or “alternative news” can destabilise societies?

How does the government plan to deal with deliberate fake news spread by state media?

 

 

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