SINGAPORE: An advertisement posted on Facebook by New Naratif has been taken down as it was "not authorised by any candidate or election agent to conduct election activity", said the Elections Department (ELD) on Friday (Jul 3).
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), as the assistant returning officer of this General Election, issued a notice to Facebook "to remove unauthorised paid Internet election advertising" that was published on its platform, said ELD.
Facebook has removed the advertisement.
New Naratif placed a "programmatic paid advertisement" on the social media platform that continued to be available after Jun 30, which was Nomination Day, said the department.
"The advertisement amounted to election advertising," said ELD.
By putting up the paid Internet election advertising, New Naratif was "deemed to be conducting election activity as defined in the Parliamentary Elections Act".
In the statement, ELD reminded the public that the publishing of paid Internet election advertising requires authorisation by a candidate or an election agent from the start of the campaign period, which is after the end of Nomination Day proceedings.
"This ensures accountability, and prevents paid advertisements from being used as a conduit for foreign interference in the elections process, or for political parties and candidates to bypass the election expense limits," it said.
READ: Sponsors of paid online election advertising have to be disclosed in tightened campaigning rules
Under the Parliamentary Elections Act, election advertising is defined as any material that can reasonably be regarded as intended to promote or procure the electoral success at any election for one or more identifiable political parties, candidates or groups of candidates; or to otherwise enhance the standing of any such political parties, candidates or groups of candidates with the electorate in connection with any election.
This includes prejudicing the electoral prospects at the election of other political parties, candidates or groups of candidates or (as the case may be) by prejudicing the standing with the electorate of other political parties, candidates or groups of candidates.