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MDA licensing regime exerts a necessary degree of control

The unhappiness arising from the Media Development Authority’s newly-enacted licensing regime for online news sites is not surprising, with many in the online community claiming it is an attempt to curtail freedom of expression on the Internet.

TODAY File Photo

TODAY File Photo

The unhappiness arising from the Media Development Authority’s newly-enacted licensing regime for online news sites is not surprising, with many in the online community claiming it is an attempt to curtail freedom of expression on the Internet.

But are the majority of Singaporeans as anxious about the new regime as these netizens?

Among those I have spoken with, some may be critical of such measures but, recognising the power and influence of online media, they also assert the need for a degree of control. There is a need for people to bear responsibility for what is said on their platforms.

As Karl Marx discovered in the 19th century as he struggled to make a living while advocating his ideology, a way of confronting challenges is to work around restrictions. This is easier to do today with technology. Empowerment is about accepting responsibility instead of blaming someone when things do not go smoothly.

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