Website sorry for posting bogus article

Alternative news website All Singapore Stuff was forced to apologise to police yesterday for posting a fake article.

The supposed writer of the article claimed the police had failed to take action after she reported that a male schoolmate had "duped" her into having sex with him when she was 14 years old, and that he later started bullying her.

The writer, who claimed to be a 16-year-old student, gave a police report number to support her story. She further claimed that the police advised her to drop the case as she would be sent to the Girls' Home, and the schoolmate to the Boys' Home, after investigations.

The Straits Times (ST) understands that while a police report bearing the same number as the one posted exists, the nature of the report is different.

In a statement to ST on Wednesday, the police said: "The police would like to clarify that the article and allegations against the Singapore Police Force are untrue."

Not only are the claims false, the writer is also a fake. "A police report has been lodged by a member of the public, whose identity is believed to have been misused as the contributor of the article," added the police.

FAKE CONTRIBUTOR

A police report has been lodged by a member of the public, whose identity is believed to have been misused as the contributor of the article.

THE POLICE, in a statement.

They requested that All Singapore Stuff provide information on the contributor, saying they "take a serious view of any allegations against its officers and will investigate each case thoroughly".

If the allegations are found to be false, the police will take action against the people involved, they said.

All Singapore Stuff has since removed the article, which was published on Wednesday, and put the police statement in full on its Facebook page and website yesterday.

The website said the article had been submitted anonymously and it does not have any details about the contributor.

Last November, the website apologised after posting a fake news article claiming the roof of Punggol Waterway Terraces had collapsed.

Another alternative news website - the now-defunct The Real Singapore - posted a fake news report in 2015 about complaints that caused a scuffle between the police and participants during the Thaipusam procession that year. The husband and wife behind the site were later jailed for eight and 10 months respectively on charges of sedition.

In March last year, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam criticised socio-political blog The Online Citizen for giving the impression that the police had lied about being in plain clothes when they arrived at a 14-year-old's school for an investigation, and that the teenager was interviewed and intimidated by five police officers, among other matters.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2017, with the headline 'Website sorry for posting bogus article'. Print Edition | Subscribe