Shawn Lim
Oct 4, 2022

Singapore introduces new laws to curb harmful content on social platforms

Singapore's parliament will debate the bill at the second reading in November.

Singapore introduces new laws to curb harmful content on social platforms

Singapore has introduced a new bill called the Online Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill that aims to hold social media platforms accountable for the harmful content that are served to users.

The bill, which will be added to the Broadcasting Act, will fine platform companies like Meta (the owner of Facebook and Instagram), TikTok and Twitter for up to SGD$1 million or block their services.

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will also have the power to issue orders to block or take down posts that advocate suicide, self-harm, child sexual exploitation, terrorism and materials that may incite racial or religious tensions or pose a risk to public health.

Just last week, Reuters reported that brands like Dyson, Mazda, Forbes and PBS Kids suspended their campaigns with Twitter because their ads appeared alongside tweets promoting child pornography with words related to “rape” and links to the exploitative material.

"While some online services have made efforts to address harmful content, the prevalence of harmful online content remains a concern, given the high level of digital penetration and pervasive usage of online services among Singapore users, including children,” The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said.

Spokespeople for TikTok and YouTube told Campaign Asia-Pacific it shared the Singapore government's commitment to combatting online harms.

“User safety is our top priority, and we have made every effort to create a safe online space that prioritizes age-appropriate experiences. We look forward to furthering our work to enhance safety and privacy across our product, policies and technology that we deploy so that our community can safely create, share, and enjoy creative and entertaining content on our app,” the TikTok spokesperson said.

“We appreciate the consultative approach led by the Singapore government regarding the Online Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill," added a YouTube spokesperson. "While we are still reviewing the draft legislation, we look forward to continuing working closely with all parties involved in providing Singapore netizens a safer online experience.”

Meta and Twitter declined to comment on Campaign Asia-Pacific's queries.

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