Singapore’s Media Literacy Council rolls back on its anti-fake news campaign and issues retraction

The Media Literacy Council – a Singapore-based body that seeks to address problems like cyber security and online falsehoods, found itself at the centre of a controversy after it claimed that “satire” was the same as fake news. 

The claim was made in a Facebook post promoting an initiative called ‘Get Smart With Sherlock’ which directed people to download a booklet with more information on spotting fake news. Among the types of fake news according to the post from the MLC were ‘False Context’, ‘Imposter Content’, ‘Manipulated Content’ ‘Misleading Content’, ‘Clickbait’ and ‘Satire’.

The post came in for a fair amount of criticism by users on social media who pointed out that satire did not fall under the purview of Singapore’s recently introduced fake news laws

The MLC withdrew the Get Smart With Sherlock post and booklet and said: “We acknowledge that the post and infographic gave the wrong impression that satire was fake news, which was not the intent. We are sorry for the confusion and will review our material.

“The aim of the post was to raise awareness among youths and the general public about the need to be aware of the ways in which misinformation or fake news can be spread, and encourage readers to understand the context in which information is presented. This is part of MLC’s work to encourage online discernment.

“Thank you to the readers who brought this to our attention.”


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