Look Back 2019: Measures to curb fake news, deter harassment and fight new crimes

Above: The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill was passed in May and used for the first time last month, with Progress Singapore Party member Brad Bowyer being asked to correct false statements (left) that he made. PHOTOS: ST FILE
Above: The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill was passed in May and used for the first time last month, with Progress Singapore Party member Brad Bowyer being asked to correct false statements that he made. PHOTO: ST FILE
Above: The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill was passed in May and used for the first time last month, with Progress Singapore Party member Brad Bowyer being asked to correct false statements (left) that he made. PHOTOS: ST FILE
The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill was passed in May and used for the first time last month, with Progress Singapore Party member Brad Bowyer being asked to correct false statements (above) that he made. PHOTO: GOV.SG

This year saw sweeping changes to the Penal Code and the Protection from Harassment Act (Poha) but the one that garnered the most interest was the landmark fake news law.

Passed in May after a marathon two-day debate in Parliament, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill gives Singapore's ministers the power to order corrections or removals of online falsehoods. They can also order sites or accounts that are spreading untruths to be blocked.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2019, with the headline 'CRIME/LAWS - Measures to curb fake news, deter harassment and fight new crimes'. Print Edition | Subscribe