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Pofma Office issues warning to 47-year-old woman over false Aug 2021 Facebook post about toddler's Covid-19 death

SINGAPORE — A 24-month conditional warning has been issued to a 47-year-old woman by the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office, for making a false Facebook post saying that a three-year-old had died from Covid-19 at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and that the death was "deliberately not reported".

A 47-year-old woman was aware that no death of a preschooler had been reported and she still went ahead to publish the falsehood on Aug 14, 2021.
A 47-year-old woman was aware that no death of a preschooler had been reported and she still went ahead to publish the falsehood on Aug 14, 2021.

SINGAPORE — A 24-month conditional warning has been issued to a 47-year-old woman by the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office, for making a false Facebook post saying that a three-year-old had died from Covid-19 at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and that the death was "deliberately not reported".

The Pofma Office said in a statement on Thursday (March 31) investigations revealed that the woman had "concocted the falsehood based on hearsay from an acquaintance".

The office did not reveal the name of the woman, but past reports on this matter stated that she went by the name of "Eileen Loh" on Facebook. 

However, investigations found that this was a fictitious name that the woman had used to evade identification.

The office added that the woman was aware that no such death of a preschooler had been reported and yet she went ahead to publish the falsehood on Aug 14 last year.

She also falsely represented that she had "permission from (the) girl’s mummy to post on (Facebook)”, the office said.

As a result, "the falsehood caused public alarm and ran counter to efforts to combat the Covid-19 virus", it added.

A subsequent Pofma directive was issued to Facebook on Aug 15 last year to carry a correction notice to all Facebook users in Singapore to inform them of the falsehood. 

"Online falsehoods that sow public confusion affects lives and harms society. The Government takes a serious view of the deliberate communication of these false statements," the Pofma Office said.

It added that if the woman reoffends during these 24 months, she can be prosecuted for the original crime, which could result in a fine of up to S$50,000 or a jail term of up to five years, or both. 

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Pofma online falsehood Covid-19 KKH child death

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