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States Times Review Facebook page designated as Declared Online Location under POFMA: MCI

States Times Review Facebook page designated as Declared Online Location under POFMA: MCI

A woman is seen wearing a face mask at Orchard Road, Singapore on Jan 28, 2020. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: The States Times Review (STR) Facebook page will be a Declared Online Location (DOL) under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) starting Sunday (Feb 16).

The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) announced this in a media release on Saturday, a day after Health Minister Gan Kim Yong ordered that the page be served a correction direction for a post containing claims about the COVID-19 situation that were "entirely untrue". 

READ: Health Minister orders POFMA correction directions to States Times Review, Facebook over COVID-19 post

Declared Online Locations can include website and webpages, and are defined as "online locations that have carried three or more different online falsehoods that are the subject of active directions issued by POFMA Office", according to the website of the office, which is responsible for the administration of the law.

"A Declared Online Location will not be allowed to profit from spreading falsehoods in Singapore," the website stated, adding that the public should "exercise caution and do additional fact-checking" if accessing these sites for information. 

READ: 'Steady wave' of fake news on coronavirus in the region - Facebook fact-checker

READ: As coronavirus misinformation spreads on social media, Facebook removes posts

The latest correction direction is the third to be issued to the STR Facebook page, owned by Mr Alex Tan, since November last year. 

"The STR Facebook page has not complied with any of the POFMA directions that it has been served with," said MCI. 

Besides "spreading falsehoods"on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, the page is also linked to other websites operated by Mr Tan that "derive monetary benefits from these falsehoods at the expense of Singaporeans and our society", MCI added. 

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Source: CNA/ga


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