Panoramic night view of Singapore bussines district in sepia colors

With the ongoing global outbreak of COVID-19, governments worldwide race against time to contain not only the spread of the pathogen, but also the flurry of fake news, with fears that online misinformation, if left unchecked, could be more infectious than the disease itself.

One of the weapons in the Singapore government’s arsenal to contain the infectiousness of fake news, is the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (“POFMA”), colloquially known as Singapore’s “fake news law”.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen increasing activity on the fake news front in Singapore, with various clarification statements issued by the government, and various directions issued under the POFMA.

Coincidentally, during this period, the Singapore High Court also delivered its first two decisions under the POFMA, just two weeks apart.

This newsletter unpacks some of these recent developments in Singapore’s online falsehoods laws.