SINGAPORE | Facebook criticized Monday the severity of an act on the misinformation in force in Singapore, and highlighted a threat to the freedom of expression, after having been again forced to block a page in the city-State.
This law, enacted in October, allows the government to require internet platforms to affix warning messages about the publications that it deems false, and to order the blocking of pages. It is the target of criticism from internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, as defenders of the rights of Man.
The object of the dispute this time: the page Facebook “National Times Singapore,” that the power of attorney is accused of publishing false information, especially when it stated that “any criticism” of the government was prohibited under this act.
The government has asked the author of the page to post a banner indicating that it is fake, but he refused, and Facebook has been forced to block access to the page in Singapore.
When asked about the blocking, Facebook has pointed out to be “legally obligated” to comply with them.
But according to a spokesperson, “such levels of locking are severe and could be misused to stifle the voices and points of view on the internet”.
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental right, and we are working hard to protect and defend this important freedom around the world,” added the spokesperson.
The page was administered by the activist anti-government Alex Tan, who lives in Australia and has been accused several times of spreading false news on a variety of topics.
The four pages that it operates have now been blocked, according to the authorities.
According to a government website dedicated to the fight against the misinformation, Tan “continues to publish the lies to distort the public’s understanding of the law (of misinformation) and the way in which it has been applied”.