Published on 01 Dec 2021

Pofma used 33 times since it came to force in 2019

The Straits Times, page B2

Singapore’s fake news law has been used 33 times since it came into force in 2019, with more than half of these instances, 19, for correcting Covid-19 misinformation. Being able to take swift action against pandemic falsehoods "has helped to build trust about vaccines, and allowed us to achieve high vaccination coverage, with 94 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated", said Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo. Still, Prof Ang Peng Hwa from NTU’s WKWSCI believes that Pofma is not strong enough to deal with Covid-19 fake news - it requires a correction notice to be displayed with the falsehood but does not take it down. "Misinformation in this case is potentially lethal," said Prof Ang, adding that Covid-19 fake news should be removed and there is legislation here that allows this to be done.