Singapore 2025

What of Singapore towards 2025? Thoughts of a Singaporean.

Parliament: Fake News (Pritam Singh) – 19 Jun 2017

I asked some questions about fake news in Parliament last month (see below). I sought a definition for fake news because the focus of the Government appears to be squarely directed at falsehoods and fabrications. As the article below alludes, the fundamental objective of “fake news” is to shape or alter perceptions.

But a more sophisticated form of “fake news” has been carried out in the media, especially the print media, since time immemorial and more recently, even on apparently trustworthy online sites too. On the “fake news” spectrum, some of the most successful examples are those which are done subtly. This is achieved through selective omissions, framing a story from a particular perspective, taking on a “nation-building” role (whatever that means), selective usage of quotes and pictures at certain angles etc.

I have no objection to clamping down hard on fake news. But what are we going to do about good old-fashioned propaganda? At least in the West, the editorial line of a paper is openly known – right leaning, left leaning etc. – so you know where these mainstream sources are coming from. But what happens when your mainstream news outlets are ultimately controlled by the Government or one entity?

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Parliamentary Questions (May 2017)

32 Mr Pritam Singh asked the Minister for Law (a) how does the Government identify and define what is fake news; and (b) what role does the Government envisage social media platforms and Internet service providers to play in addressing fake news.

Reply: goo.gl/5SWF3V

39 Mr Pritam Singh asked the Minister for Education (Schools) (a) whether there are programmes to teach students how to discern fake news; (b) if so, how are the programmes designed and rolled out; and (c) if not, whether there are plans to develop and roll out such programmes in a specific timeline.

Reply: goo.gl/JXaQkf

Useful Links:

NPR / 5 Feb 2017: Long before there was ‘Fake News’, there were ‘Fake Photos’: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/02/05/513252650/long-before-there-was-fake-news-there-were-fake-photos

Written by singapore 2025

19/06/2017 at 4:55 am

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