From black ops to bots: Countering hostile, foreign meddling in Singapore's affairs

Social media bots have amplified controversial issues during elections around the world, sought to stoke sentiments in disputes between Singapore and other countries, and spread disinformation on Covid-19. PHOTO: ST FILE
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SINGAPORE - In the 1960s, a series of meetings and secret negotiations with Chinese communist intelligence services led to Singaporean businessman and Tiger Balm family scion Aw Kow receiving a loan of over HK$6 million to start an English-language daily here.

The catch? The newspaper, named Eastern Sun, had to follow principles laid down by the officials from China - such as not opposing the state on major issues - as part of a long-term political objective of gaining control of Singapore's press.

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