Reuters has extended its partnership with Facebook's fact-checking program to cover posts in Singapore.
The news provider first joined the fact-checking program in February and had initially expected to be mostly verifying content related to the upcoming US presidential election. It expanded the partnership to cover the UK towards the end of March, when misinformation related to COVID-19 was spiking. It documented its findings in a specially created blog.
Now the company will verify or debunk user-generated content for Facebook and Instagram in Singapore, focusing on English language posts. AFP is the only other fact-checking partner Facebook has in the country.
Hazel Baker, head of UGC newsgathering at Reuters, said the volume of misinformation relating to the COVID-19 crisis "remains high all over the world". The expansion of the partnership to Singapore was a joint decision made by Reuters and Facebook, she told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
Singapore is one of the few countries worldwide which has a fake news law, called the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act. The government fact-checks news and social media posts and issues correction notices on its website. It has issued several notices and blocking orders to Facebook, including one last week. But Facebook has expressed concerns over the law, and the risk of it "being misused to stifle voices and perspectives on the internet", the company has said.