MDA bans extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison

The homepage of the Ashley Madison dating website is displayed on a laptop in Hong Kong on Aug 20, 2013. The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) has banned extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison, deeming its content objectionable
The homepage of the Ashley Madison dating website is displayed on a laptop in Hong Kong on Aug 20, 2013. The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) has banned extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison, deeming its content objectionable. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) has banned extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison, deeming its content objectionable.

In a media statement, a spokesman said that while the Government adopts a pragmatic and light-touch approach to regulating Internet content, the MDA blocks "a limited number of sites as a symbolic statement of the types of content which the community is opposed to".

"The Ashley Madison website, however, stands out. It aggressively promotes and facilitates extramarital affairs and has declared that it will specifically target Singaporeans.

"It is against the public interest to allow Ashley Madison to promote its website in flagrant disregard of our family values and public morality. We will therefore not allow Ashley Madison to operate in Singapore and have worked with the Internet Service Providers to block access to the site."

This comes after the Canada-based website, which promotes adulterous affairs on the basis that "life is short", set up a local portal for people to register with it. The Singapore website had stated that Ashley Madison is "coming in November", and The Straits Times understands that the earliest launch date was intended to be in the week of Nov 17.