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Parliament Sitting on 28 February 2018

QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER

*1. Ms Sun Xueling: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether the Gov Factually website is actively being used to verify information and debunk fake news about Government policies; and (b) whether the information on the website is updated in a timely manner.


Answer:


        Factually aims to clarify widespread or common misperceptions of Government policy, or inaccurate assertions on matters of public concern that can harm Singapore’s social fabric. This is done on a timely basis to ensure that prevailing falsehoods and misinformation are debunked as soon as possible.

 

2      Over the years, the site has addressed inaccurate assertions on various matters, ranging from savings and taxes, to education and employment. For example, in January this year, several online articles claimed that the Government had raised the CPF Retirement Sum in a “secret policy change”, when in fact the revised figures had been publicly announced in 2015 and was widely reported in the media. Another online rumour claimed that our public universities reserve a minimum 20 per cent quota for foreign students, when in fact, no such policy exists.

 

3      Since its inception in May 2012, 186 Factually articles have been published on the Gov.sg website. Besides providing written facts, Factually also employs graphics to provide greater clarity. In the coming year, we will explore using videos as well.

 

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