New laws will not prevent age-old fake news problem

The ongoing Select Committee hearings on deliberate online falsehoods may give the public the impression that fake information is something new.

In fact, for several thousand years, human beings have been under the influence of fake news. Laws against fake news can also be easily used by a political party in power to silence or punish the opposition. How can that be avoided?

Fake information will prevail despite any law we can establish.

There are two factors we can rely on to educate ourselves on fake news and information. We should be made to recognise the importance of logic and evidence in our upbringing and education.

A person who is capable of logical thinking and appreciative of objective evidence is less likely to be wrong.

Ong Siew Chey (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2018, with the headline 'New laws will not prevent age-old fake news problem'. Print Edition | Subscribe