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Appeals against decisions taken under Singapore’s fake news laws to cost $200

Singapore’s fake news legislation, the Prevention of Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) kicks in today, with the cost of appeals against decisions taken pegged at $200.

According to the provisions of the act, a minister can deem an article fake news and demand a printed clarification to appear alongside the original text, or that the text be taken down. The minister will also have to state the reasons an article has been considered fake news.

The decision can however be contested. The challenge can be heard in the high court as early as nine days after it is brought to the minister’s attention. The cost of filing an appeal will be $200 and the court fees will be waived for the first three days of the hearing.

These provisions were reportedly put in place to allay misgivings about potential misuse of the fake news laws. Under the law technology companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Baidu and WeChat have been deemed to be digital advertising and internet intermediaries. In a move that appears to have been in response to the imminent launch of POFMA, Facebook had announced its plans to enforce its global standards on political advertising in Singapore late last month.

Companies that fail to comply with notices under POFMA could be fined as much as $1 million under provisions of the law, while the fines for individuals have been pegged at up to $100,000 and or a jail sentence of up to 10 years.

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