ASEAN sets up framework to help countries combat fake news

ASEAN sets up framework to help countries combat fake news

SINGAPORE: ASEAN countries have proposed a framework which member states can refer to when coming up with their own domestic policies to counter fake news.

Some of the broad strategies, which ASEAN adopted on Thursday (May 10), include having a well-informed public able to detect fake news, governments conducting regular monitoring of news, and government and citizenry cooperating with each other.

One of the strategies outlined in the framework says that one way to build a discerning and well-informed public is to educate them to be responsible when creating and disseminating information.

The framework, adopted at the 14th Conference of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI), also encourages countries to consider their own circumstances for the creation of laws, norms and guidelines. 

Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran said it is universally recognised that the issue of fake news needs to be addressed by governments.

“It is in the interest of all our people that the Internet and the digital space remains one that is reliable, safe and used responsibly for common good,” he said.  

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who spoke at the conference as its guest-of-honour, said that individual ASEAN nations have taken measures to curb the negative effects of fake news.

For example, Singapore convened a special Parliamentary Committee to hear views from the public on how to combat fake news.

"However, given the transnational nature of trends and threats in the digital world, by themselves they are not adequate. We must also work together to cultivate a resilient, trusted digital ecosystem across ASEAN," Mr Heng said.

Source: CNA/aa