Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Pofma correction directions to be issued to Facebook, Twitter, SPH Magazines over 'Singapore' variant of Covid-19 falsehood

SINGAPORE — General correction directions will be issued to Facebook, Twitter and SPH Magazines over falsehoods about a "Singapore variant" of Covid-19.

Pofma correction directions to be issued to Facebook, Twitter, SPH Magazines over 'Singapore' variant of Covid-19 falsehood

A correction notice on Twitter seen on May 20, 2021 about false allegations of a "Singapore variant" of Covid-19.

SINGAPORE — General correction directions will be issued to Facebook, Twitter and SPH Magazines over falsehoods about a "Singapore variant" of Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health said early Thursday morning (May 20) it is aware of a false statement circulating online by multiple media outlets and social media platforms that implies that a "previously unknown variant of Covid-19" originated in Singapore or risks spreading to India from Singapore, or both.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has instructed the Pofma (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act) Office to issue general correction directions to the social media giants and SPH Magazines, MOH said.

A general correction direction is an order issued to prescribed Internet intermediaries, telecom and broadcast licensees, and permit holders of the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act. It would require them to communicate, publish, broadcast or transmit a correction notice to their users in Singapore.

“Facebook, Twitter and SPH Magazines are required to carry the correction notice to all end-users in Singapore who use Facebook, Twitter and HardwareZone.com,” MOH said in a press release.

The HardewareZone forum is operated by Hardware Zone, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings.

NO SINGAPORE VARIANT: MOH

"There is no new 'Singapore' variant of Covid-19. Neither is there evidence of any Covid-19 variant that is ‘extremely dangerous for kids’," MOH said.

The strain that is prevalent in many Covid-19 cases in Singapore in recent weeks is the B16172 variant, which originated in India, the ministry added.

"The existence and spread of the B16172 variant within India predates the detection of the variant in Singapore, and this has been publicly known and reported by various media sources from as early as May 5, 2021," said MOH.

The ministry advised members of the public not to speculate or spread unfounded rumours.

Late Tuesday night, MOH said that there is “no truth whatsoever” in the assertion in several news reports in India that there is a Singapore variant of the Covid-19 virus.

The claims were reported in articles published by the Hindustan Times and NDTV, both from India.

The articles quoted tweets from Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was reported as saying that the new strain is “extremely dangerous for children” and could result in a third wave of infections in India.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs later expressed its concerns to India's High Commissioner over comments made by the Delhi chief minister.

Posting on Twitter on Wednesday, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Mr Kejriwal's comments were "irresponsible" and that the Delhi chief minister "does not speak for India". 

"Singapore and India have been solid partners in the fight against Covid-19," Mr S Jaishankar added. CNA

For more stories like this, visit cna.asia

 

Related topics

Covid-19 Pofma social media news India misinformation

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa