States Times Review post: Facebook cannot be relied upon to filter falsehoods, says Law Ministry

States Times Review post: Facebook cannot be relied upon to filter falsehoods, says Law Ministry

FILE PHOTO: A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo in this photo illustr
FILE PHOTO: A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with a laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

SINGAPORE: Facebook has declined to take down a post by the States Times Review linking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with the 1MDB investigations, said the Ministry of Law on Friday (Nov 9) night.

Their stance shows that the social media platform "cannot be relied upon to filter falsehoods or protect Singapore from a false information campaign", the ministry added.

"Facebook has declined to take down a post that is clearly false, defamatory and attacks Singapore, using falsehoods.

"This shows why we need legislation to protect us from deliberate online falsehoods," said the ministry in a press statement. 

READ: Shanmugam says States Times Review article has "absurd allegations", questions how Malaysian media picked up story

The ministry said that many Malaysian publications that had picked up the article described by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as "baseless" took it down after Singapore's High Commission in Malaysia issued a clarification to say it was "false and libellous". 

According to the ministry, Sarawak Report and its editor Clare Rewcastle Brown have also issued two statements to say that States Times Review's claim that the report had declared Singapore to be the next target of the 1MDB investigation was false. 

"But Facebook does not feel all this is sufficient grounds for it to remove the post. FB cannot be relied upon to filter falsehoods or protect Singapore from a false information campaign," it added. 

READ: States Times review refuses to take down article linking PM Lee with 1MDB

READ: States Times Review founder says will "shut down" website

Earlier on Friday, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) ordered the States Times Review to take down the offending article by 5pm, but it refused to do so

IMDA then directed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to restrict access to the site, which became inaccessible at about 9pm bearing only the message: "The website that you are trying to access is unavailable as it contains prohibited material."

States Times Review founder Alex Tan announced soon after the website became inaccessible that he intended to "shut (it) down".

Source: CNA/hs(aj)/ec

Bookmark