Facebook group administrators apologise for doctored City Harvest article

Facebook group administrators apologise for doctored City Harvest article

Administrators of Facebook groups, or any other similar online platforms, are also responsible for the content published on their platforms, said the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Wanbao collage
Front page of Lianhe Wanbao (left) and doctored front page circulated on Feb 2, 2018. (Image: MHA)

SINGAPORE: Administrators of a Facebook group that published a post containing a news report with a doctored headline about the City Harvest case have apologised, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said on Tuesday (Feb 13).

Administrators for the Facebook group 议论政策论坛 (Discuss Policy Forum), Mr Ong Sooi Eng, Mr Lee Leng Kok, Madam Ng Kwee Lay, Madam Tan Siew Tee and Mr Yap Tze Kiat, were held responsible for the publication of Mr Neo Aik Chau's post on the group's page.

Mr Neo had earlier published an apology for his post. The original post, published on the group's page on Feb 2, had made reference to the widely publicised decision of the Court of Appeal ruling in favour of the accused people involved with City Harvest Church.

According to AGC, Mdm Ng, as one of the Facebook group's administrators, had approved Neo's post for publication, "thereby causing publication of the Facebook post".

By failing to remove the Facebook post from the group from Feb 2 until Feb 5 despite being aware of its publication, Mr Ong, Mr Lee, Mdm Tan and Mr Yap, as the other administrators of the Facebook group, had also caused publication of the Facebook post, AGC added.

Administrators of Facebook groups, or any other similar online platforms, are responsible for the content published on their platforms, AGC said.   

"They are not immune from liability even though they are not the authors of the offending content," added AGC. 

The five administrators of the Facebook group had thereby committed contempt of court, AGC noted.

AGC said it required the five administrators to "publish an apology and undertake not to allow any posts that amount to contempt of court to be published on the Facebook group, or do any other act that amounts to contempt of court".

Mr Ong, Mr Lee, Mdm Ng, Mdm Tan and Mr Yap complied and published the apology on Tuesday (Feb 13), added AGC. 

Facebook apology to AGC

Source: CNA/am

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