Wuhan virus: POFMA Office issues correction direction to Facebook over posts claiming Woodlands MRT closure

Wuhan virus: POFMA Office issues correction direction to Facebook over posts claiming Woodlands MRT closure

POFMA Wuhan virus
The office overseeing the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) has been instructed to issue a targeted correction notice to Facebook. (Photo: Factually)

SINGAPORE: The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office has issued a targeted correction direction to Facebook over two posts on the platform that claimed that Woodlands MRT station was closed on Tuesday (Jan 28) due to the Wuhan coronavirus.

This came at the instruction of Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, the POFMA Office said in a media release.

"A falsehood was made by two Facebook users who alleged that Woodlands MRT station was closed for disinfection because there was a suspect case of the Wuhan coronavirus," said the office. 

The post also urged members of the public not to go to Woodlands MRT.

READ: Singapore to impose travel restrictions on holders of Chinese passports issued in Hubei

READ: Wuhan virus in Singapore - What we know about the confirmed cases

Added the office: "Facebook is required to carry a Correction Notice on the two Facebook posts which contained the falsehood."

The POFMA Office referred to a Factually article which said that Woodlands MRT station was fully operational and not closed on Jan 28.

The targeted correction direction requires Facebook to communicate a correction notice on its platform  to all Singapore users who are able to access the posts through its service, the POFMA Office said.

This is the second correction notice issued by the POFMA Office in relation to the Wuhan virus.

On Monday, the office said it was instructed by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong to issue a correction notice to SPH Magazines over a post on HardwareZone Forum which claimed that a person had died in Singapore from the Wuhan virus.

SPH Magazines which operates HardwareZone Forum took down the post and complied with the correction notice.

READ: 'Swift action’ needed against falsehoods, says Iswaran citing case of Hardwarezone Forum post on Wuhan virus

Later on Monday, during a press conference involving a multi-minister task force, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said 'swift action" was needed to tackle falsehoods as Singapore battles to contain the coronavirus. 

He said the Government "will not hesitate to use the powers under the law to take action against any party that spreads such falsehoods".

The deadly Wuhan virus has killed at least 106 people in China so far, with more than 4,000 confirmed cases.

In Singapore, another two confirmed cases were announced on Tuesday bringing the total infected to seven. 

Authorities also announced a new set of enhanced measures designed to contain the virus, including travel restrictions on holders of Chinese passports issued in Hubei.

READ: Wuhan virus outbreak at a glance

MORE: Our coverage on the Wuhan virus and its developments

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Source: CNA/nh

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