Parliament Sitting on 3 November 2021

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER


17. Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how many declarations, directives, orders and notices under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act have been issued since the enactment of the Act; and (b) what is the breakdown between the different Ministries.

Answer:

1. There have been 32 instances of falsehoods spreading online where the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act was invoked. Of these, more than half (18) were related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Where falsehoods are being spread on several web pages, posts, or platforms, several directions might be issued in a single instance.

2. Table 1 contains a breakdown of the number of directions issued by ministries. All were directions for corrections to be put up, rather than to take down the falsehoods. In addition, four Facebook pages were made Declared Online Locations by the Ministry of Communications and Information, and were subsequently the subject of Access Disabling Orders. One website was the subject of an Access Blocking Order for failing to comply with a Correction Direction. 
 
Table 1

Ministry

Number of instances where POFMA was invoked

Number of directions issued

Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth

1

3

Ministry of Education

3

6

Ministry of Finance

3

6

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1

3

Ministry of Health

8

16

Ministry of Home Affairs

5

13

Ministry of Law

2

4

Ministry of Manpower

3

12

Ministry of National Development

3

12

Ministry of Trade and Industry

1

2

Ministry of Transport

2

2

 

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