Fake news law: Calibrated approach, but nimbleness needed

Consider the reach of false information in deciding on course of action, and require tech firms to use AI to flag dubious accounts

On Monday, Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam tabled the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill in Parliament. The Bill was almost two years in the making, since the Government first mentioned in 2017 that it would legislate against "fake news".

The tabling of the Bill comes after regulatory moves around the world such as in Germany, France and, more recently, Australia. Even Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has called for governments to be more involved in regulating the Internet. However, underscoring the Bill is an acknowledgement that legislation on its own is insufficient and a whole-of-society approach is required to increase people's competency to tackle the scourge.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2019, with the headline 'Fake news law: Calibrated approach, but nimbleness needed'. Print Edition | Subscribe