The Minister for Communications and Information has today declared the States Times Review (STR) Facebook page a Declared Online Location (DOL) under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA). The Declaration will come into effect on 16 February 2020.
2 Under the Declaration, the STR Facebook page is required to carry a notice stating that it has been declared a DOL. With the notice, visitors to the STR Facebook page will be warned that the page has a history of communicating falsehoods. The declaration will also make it an offence for Mr Alex Tan to derive benefit from operating the STR Facebook page, and prohibit the provision of financial support to it for the purposes of supporting, helping or promoting the communication of falsehoods.
3 The STR Facebook page, owned by Mr Tan, has repeatedly conveyed numerous falsehoods, three of which were the subject of POFMA Directions from November 2019 to-date1. The STR Facebook page has not complied with any of the POFMA Directions that it has been served with. In the past weeks, the STR Facebook page has also spread falsehoods regarding the COVID-19 virus situation in Singapore. The STR Facebook page is linked to other websites that are also operated by Mr Tan, which derive monetary benefits from these falsehoods at the expense of Singaporeans and our society.
1These include falsehoods on the COVID-19 situation - (1) on measures taken by the Government and travel restrictions imposed by other countries (POFMA Direction issued on 14 Feb 2020); and (2) that Singapore had run out of face masks (POFMA Direction issued on 30 Jan 2020).