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National Times Singapore Facebook page to be designated as Declared Online Location under POFMA

National Times Singapore Facebook page to be designated as Declared Online Location under POFMA

A screengrab of the National Times Singapore Facebook page, May 27, 2020.

SINGAPORE: The National Times Singapore (NTS) Facebook page will be designated as a Declared Online Location (DOL) under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) from Friday (May 29). 

Under the declaration, the page, which is run by Mr Alex Tan, is required to carry a notice stating that it has been declared a DOL. Visitors will also be warned that the page has a history of communicating falsehoods. 

READ: National Times Singapore issued correction direction over false POFMA statements in Facebook post

"The declaration will also make it an offence for Tan to derive benefit from operating the NTS Facebook page, and will prohibit the provision of financial support to it for the purposes of supporting, helping or promoting the communication of falsehoods," said the Minister for Communications and Information (MCI) in a release on Thursday. 

DOLs can include website and webpages, and are defined as online locations that have carried three or more different falsehoods that are the subject of active directions issued by the POFMA Office. 

MCI said that the NTS Facebook page has "communicated numerous false statements of fact in a post published on May 15, 2020". 

At least three of the statements were the subject of a POFMA direction, added MCI.

According to the Factually website, Tan has been issued POFMA correction directions in relation to falsehoods conveyed on six other occasions on his previous Facebook pages. 

The Government website Factually listed the following, among other things, as "false and misleading statements" in the NTS Facebook post: 

  • “Every criticism has been outlawed by the Singapore government through its new POFMA legislation, where the politicians in power get to decide what is truth.”
  • The Minister for Law had issued a POFMA direction to ban a video.

Tan, who claims to be an Australian citizen living in Australia, also "makes serious and baseless allegations about Singapore’s judiciary being biased", added MCI in the Factually page. 

READ: POFMA: Singapore States Times, Alex Tan's Facebook pages to be Declared Online Locations after COVID-19 'falsehoods'

"In recent months, Tan has created and operated Facebook pages, which sought to derive monetary benefits from falsehoods at the expense of Singaporeans and our society," said MCI in the release. 

These Facebook pages - the States Times Review, the Singapore States Times, as well as Tan's own page - have been declared as DOLs. 

"So far, neither these pages nor Tan have complied with any of the requirements of the POFMA Directions and Declarations that they have been served with," said MCI. 

Source: CNA/ad


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