SPH, Mediacorp Editors Call for Regulation of Social Media Platforms, Parliament-Appointed “Fact-Checking Body”

Top state media editors have urged the government to regulate social media platforms and launch a “fact-checking body” which comprises members appointed by parliament.

Mediacorp’s Walter Fernandez and SPH’s Warren Fernandez called for regulation of major mobile and social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp and Telegram, saying that a “level playing field” in terms of taking responsibility for the distribution of online content is necessary.

They argued technology companies should be held responsible for the content they distribute, given that consumers see them as an information source.

The duo (who aren’t brothers) warned, however, against over-regulation by the government.

When quizzed about whether the call for regulation was borne out of “self-interest” by NMP Chia Yong Yong, Warren Fernandez said:

“We’re are asking for a more level playing field, we’re not asking you to tip the playing field in our favour.”

Both Mediacorp and SPH editors also called for the establishment of a “fact checking” body that can deal with deliberate online falsehoods in an independent and transparent manner.

They recommended that this group comprise representatives from academia, the legal community and civil society groups, and that the group be given the mandate to identify the falsehoods and recommend appropriate remedial actions.



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