Minister for Communications and Information directs POFMA Office to issue Disabling Order
The Minister for Communications and Information has directed POFMA Office to order Facebook to disable Singapore users’ access to the Singapore States Times’ (SST) and Alex Tan’s Facebook pages, under Section 34 of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).
The SST’s and Tan’s Facebook pages have repeatedly conveyed falsehoods and have not complied with any of the POFMA Directions1 that they have been served with. Both pages were named Declared Online Locations (DOL) on 6 May 2020, but they have not complied with the requirement to publish a notice stating that they have been declared DOLs by the stipulated deadline. The notice serves to warn visitors to these pages of the previous falsehoods that they have communicated.
This is the second time that a Disabling Order is issued against Facebook pages operated by Tan, following his non-compliance with the DOL Declarations served2.
These include falsehoods regarding (a) COVID-19 cases in schools (POFMA Direction issued on 5 May 2020); (b) MOH’s reporting of COVID-19 cases in Singapore (POFMA Direction issued on 18 Apr 2020); (c) payment of salaries for quarantined migrant workers in the context of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore (POFMA Direction issued on 6 Apr 2020); and (d) NUSSU’s FB page and allegations of abuse of Police powers (POFMA Direction issued on 28 Nov 2019). Clarifications regarding these falsehoods can be found at: ↩
The “States Times Review” (STR) Facebook page, owned by Alex Tan, was declared a DOL on 16 Feb 2020. STR did not comply with the Declaration, and POFMA Office issued an order to Facebook on 17 Feb 2020 to disable access for Singapore users to the STR Facebook page. ↩