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    Media Literacy and Cyber Wellness

    Singapore is one of the most wired country in the world. With this high level of connectivity, the public are being engaged in a growing variety of media platforms. The ability of the user to evaluate and interpret information critically, make good judgements in his online interactions, and take responsibility for his actions is important. IMDA supports the Media Literacy Council (MLC), which works in partnership with the private sector, the community and the Government to champion and develop public education and awareness programmes on media literacy and cyber wellness.

    Challenges

    1. Encouraging the public to be safe online. This includes raising the public’s awareness of privacy and security risks, and the knowledge of how to protect oneself online.
    2. Encouraging the public to be smart online. This includes promoting discernment and critical thinking of information on various media platforms so as to make sound judgement and informed decisions. Encouraging the public to be kind online.
    3. Encouraging the public to be sensitive to the impact of their online interactions given our multi-racial and religious society.

    Actions

    1. The Media Literacy Council (MLC) was set up in 2012 to step up public education on media literacy and cyber wellness. The MLC works in partnership with the private sector, the community and the Government to champion and develop public education programmes relating to media literacy and cyber wellness.
    2. Since 2013, the MLC has spearheaded Singapore’s participation in the Safer Internet Day. The Safer Internet Day is a global initiative started by the Insafe network in Europe to champion safe and responsible use of Internet technologies and mobile devices. Scheduled in February every year, countries around the world participate or mark this event by organising nationwide events and campaigns to raise awareness of Internet safety issues.
    3. The Inter-Ministry Cyber Wellness Steering Committee (ICSC) was established in 2009 and has been coordinating the Government’s efforts in promoting cyber wellness programmes for youths. The ICSC also provides co-funding for initiatives from the people, private and public sectors that promote cyber wellness.  The ICSC is co-chaired by the Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Education, and includes representatives from other ministries and government agencies.

    Progress

    The various public education efforts have managed to achieve good results and reach.

    The MLC developed numerous programmes for school-going children from secondary to tertiary levels and their parents. The MLC has also built a national campaign championing media literacy around the Safer Internet Day.

    Since its inception, the ICSC has supported more than 34 initiatives that promote cyber wellness, with an outreach to over 380,000 persons.

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    Media Classification to protect interests of Singaporeans

    Media classification offers more choices for adults while restricting access to mature content by the young. Administered by IMDA, it reflects community values, supports racial and religious harmony, and safeguards national and public interests. It also enables the pubic to be responsible for their own media consumption and for parents to make informed choices on the media content that their children view.

    Challenges

    1. Ensuring that media classification and content standards remain relevant and reflect the norms and values of Singapore society.
    2. To achieve a delicate balance between giving adults greater access while providing our young with a conducive environment in which to develop morally and socially, without compromising the development of creative talents and works.
    3. Media classification needs to be complemented by strong public education efforts to help Singaporeans make informed media consumption choices.

    Actions

    IMDA regularly consults media advisory panels comprising members of the public on classification issues. Content guidelines for various media platforms periodically reviewed in consultation with these panels as well as the relevant industries and other stakeholders. Furthermore, IMDA conducts regular surveys and focus group discussions to gain deeper insights into the public perception of media classification and content standards. These measures ensure that our content regulatory policies and standards remain relevant and are in line with Singapore’s societal norms and values.


    Through regular and calibrated refinements to our content regulation framework, the Government has gradually moved from a regime of censorship to one of classification based on the age-suitability of content, as well as industry co-regulation. For example, our films and video classification frameworks allow adults access to mature content while providing parents with information to guide their children’s viewings. Programmes on free-to-air (FTA) TV and subscription TV are largely self-regulated by the broadcast industry through content guidelines set by IMDA.

    IMDA also actively engages the public through its education outreach on media classification.  This is to provide Singaporeans with the information to make the appropriate media consumption choices for themselves and their families. 

    Progress

    Content regulation is a shared responsibility among the regulator, the industry and the community. MCI and IMDA will continue to periodically review our content regulation framework in close consultation with the community and our advisory panels. We will also work with industry stakeholders to ensure that there are sufficient safeguards to prevent under-aged access to mature content. Our media literacy efforts will remain an important touch-point with parents and the community at large, so that we empower them with the right tools and information to make informed media consumption choices.