Facebook takes down fake NUS student group page accused of ‘sowing discord’ by Shanmugam’s press secretary

Facebook takes down fake NUS student group page accused of ‘sowing discord’ by Shanmugam’s press secretary

Facebook post on seperating religion and politics "misleadingly quoted" Shanmugam: MHA
A post uploaded on Nov 17 by a Facebook page named NUSSU – NUS Students United "misleadingly quoted" Mr Shanmugam, says the minister's press secretary. 

SINGAPORE: Facebook has removed a fake National University of Singapore (NUS) student group page that was accused of “sowing discord” and misquoting the Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam.

In response to queries, a spokesperson for the social media network said on Sunday (Nov 24) that the NUSSU - NUS Students United page had violated its “authenticity policies”.

The NUS Students’ Union said on Sunday afternoon that the Facebook page had “misused the union’s name to post controversial and misleading articles”.

It clarified that the page was not affiliated to the university or the students’ union.

On Friday, Mr Shanmugam’s press secretary Goh Chour Thong said the people behind the Facebook page have “no integrity” and are “bent on sowing discord and hatred”. 

This was in response to a post on the page singling out PAP activist Rachel Ong’s ties to a consultancy firm which it said had “religious leanings”, and calling on her to resign from her position if she wished to run for elections.

Mr Goh also said the page “misleadingly” quoted Mr Shanmugam and took a quote from Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew out of context. 

"The name, which appears to have been disingenuously chosen, may lead readers to assume that the views espoused on the page are being expressed by NUS and/or its students," Mr Goh added.

"The public ought to be discerning of those who launch such attacks from behind the anonymity of the Internet."

CNA had asked Facebook following the removal of the page if a complaint had been made by a third party, as well as for details on the violation.

Facebook has yet to respond to those queries.

On its website, Facebook states that it does not allow people to “misrepresent themselves”, use fake accounts, or to “artificially boost the popularity of content”.

The social network also said that pages should not engage in “inauthentic behaviour”, such as misleading people about the identity, purpose or origin of who they represent.

“This policy is intended to create a space where people can trust the people and communities they interact with,” said Facebook.

Source: CNA/mi

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