POFMA Office issues correction notice to Facebook over States Times Review post

·Editorial Team

UPDATE: Facebook has issued its first correction notice on a user's post at the request of the Singapore government on Saturday (30 November). The correction notice was embedded at the bottom of the original post without any alterations to the text.

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s anti-fake news agency has instructed Facebook to issue a correction notice over a post by alternative news site States Times Review (STR).

In a statement on Friday (29 November), the Protection against Online Falsehoods and Manipulations (POFMA) Office said it had been instructed by the Minister for Home Affairs to issue a targeted correction direction to the social media giant.

This requires Facebook to communicate a correction notice by means of its service to all users in Singapore who access the falsehood through its service.

It is the first time that the controversial fake news law has been invoked against an Internet platform.

On Thursday, POFMA issued a correction notice to Alex Tan Zhi Xiang, who runs the STR Facebook page, over a Facebook post that falsely claimed several individuals have been arrested over a recent post about Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam.

Tan responded by claiming that he is now an Australian citizen and “will not comply with any order from a foreign government like North Korea or Singapore”.

The POFMA Office added that it has also commenced investigations against Tan for failing to comply with the correction notice.

If Facebook does not comply with the directive, it is liable for a fine of up to $1 million.

Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to Facebook for comment.

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