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How international news media covered Singapore's proposed laws against fake news

SINGAPORE — The Republic’s proposals for new laws that will arm ministers with powers to fight online fake news received quite a lot of attention from major news organisations around the world.

How international news media covered Singapore's proposed laws against fake news

The Republic is introducing new laws that will, among other things, give Government ministers broad powers to quickly stop the dissemination of online falsehoods and punish those who create and spread them.

SINGAPORE — The Republic’s proposals for new laws that will arm ministers with powers to fight online fake news received quite a lot of attention from major news organisations around the world.

Here is a look at some of the major headlines:

1. The New York Times

Singapore Plans Law to Fight False News, but Critics Fear Repression

In its story, the NYT highlighted concerns among some critics that the new laws could be “weaponised to target the government’s critics”.

2. The Guardian

Singapore to introduce anti-fake news law, allowing removal of articles

The Guardian noted that the proposed legislation will allow Singapore’s ministers to “remove articles deemed to breach government regulations”, which could put tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google under increased pressure.

3. Reuters

Facebook, rights groups hit out at Singapore's fake news bill

Reuters’ article focused on the concern among Internet firms and human rights groups that the proposed laws would curb free speech.

4. CNN

Singapore's 'fake news' bill is bad news for Facebook

CNN also centred its piece on how the new laws would affect the tech giants. It cited the op-ed piece that Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg wrote in The Washington Post calling for global authorities to regulate the Internet, adding that “he probably didn’t mean” such a sweeping legislation.

5. The Wall Street Journal

Singapore to Demand That Facebook, Twitter and Google Fix Fake News

The WSJ called Singapore’s proposed laws “some of the most potentially sweeping anywhere” against fake news and noted that if passed, they would set a precedent for governments around the world.

6. CNBC

Singapore prepares sweeping law to fight ‘online falsehoods’

CNBC played it straight, reporting on how the proposed laws would give the Singapore Government powers to compel online news sources to post corrections or take down content that it deems to be falsehoods and against the public’s interest.

7.   TIME

Singapore Is the Latest Country to Propose Tough Legislation Against Fake News

TIME noted that Singapore’s proposals come after Malaysia, France and Germany enacted fake news laws, with Australia planning its own soon.

8.    Nikkei Asian Review

Singapore latest to join Asian push against fake news

Nikkei’s article highlighted concerns among critics that Singapore’s move will have a chilling effect on public discourse and raise the risk that authoritarian governments elsewhere in Asia will cite the danger of fake news to control free speech.

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