Getting to root of fake news problem

We should nip the problem of fake news in the bud by stopping it from being created and spread to the public (Fake news: Current laws 'offer limited remedies'; April 4).

To do so, the authorities can cut the lifeline of firms and individuals that promote and propagate fake news by restricting or stopping their revenues from advertisements and other sources of income.

Government agencies should be prepared to take recalcitrants and their supporters to task and even press criminal charges against them.

They can also look into flagging and tagging sites that deliberately create and spread fake news and ensure that the tagging stays with these sites wherever the sites appear on social media spaces.

They should also explore the possibility of developing a "name and shame" database of recalcitrants.

Technologies should be created to prevent fake news from being shared, and even after they have been shared, enable these falsehoods to be deleted, corrected or tagged.

Just as importantly, the authorities should educate people to know how to conduct basic checks, think critically, and be discerning about the credibility and reliability of sources of information.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)