Set up official website to address dubious online claims

I applaud the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) for its part in combating misinformation ("Strawberry-flavoured drug not found in Singapore despite online reports: CNB"; ST Online, Jan 23).

This is only the latest claim that has spread online.

In 2015, the National Environment Agency debunked online rumours that the Government was conducting cloud seeding operations to reduce the impact of the haze for the Formula 1 race in September ("NEA debunks online rumours that recent rain was caused by cloud seeding to clear haze"; ST Online, Sept 17, 2015).

The Government should set up a website where residents can post rumours they have heard for checking, and address them quickly.

More effort is needed in tracking down those who create fake news and rumours as spreading falsehoods can cause great harm. Perpetrators need to learn that there will be consequences for lying, especially about serious issues.

Perpetrators need to learn that there will be consequences for lying, especially about serious issues.

Schools should also educate students not to engage in such behaviour as well as to help them be more discerning when faced with dubious online claims.

Zubin Jain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'Set up official website to address dubious online claims'. Print Edition | Subscribe