May 27, 2022

Photo Credits: AFP

Singapore instructs Facebook, Twitter to display correction notice over Covid strain

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Singapore on Thursday has issued instructions for social media platforms Facebook and Twitter to display a correction notice for the users in the country regarding the false statement pertaining to the new Covid-19 variant, which has been detected among the infected people in the city-state.

The statement released by Singapore’s health ministry, which has been trending online on the media outlets and social media platforms, clearly signifies the new variant of Covid-19, which was not identified earlier, has originated in Singapore and is at a high potential of spreading in India from the city-state.

To which, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal initiated a controversy after getting to know that the Covid-19 variant of Singapore can erupt a third wave in India and thereby urged the Union Government to suspend the air services with Singapore.

On Wednesday, the South-east Asian country spoke to Indian envoy to register their objection over the statement released by Arvind Kejriwal. In response to which, the Ministry of External Affairs said the statement by Kejriwal “does not speak for India” and subsequently the matter was clarified by Indian high commissioner P Kumaran with the SIngapore authorities.

Later, Simon Wong, Singapore High Commissioner informed the virtual news conference that Singapore was content with the clarification given by Indian government, but also held the authority to implement a domestic fake news law to curb the spread of fake news, particularly misinformation.

The correction orders were issued to Facebook and Twitter following the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), which is Singapore’s fake news law.

According to news agency Reuters, Facebook has acknowledged the receipt of the order and iterated that it was legally forced to receive the notice. From now, the user feed on Facebook will have a cue connecting the post to the government website which will clarify that there is no novel Singapore variant of Coronavirus and also there is no such verification of any Covid-19 variant which is extremely dangerous for the children- which were the two claims made by Kejriwal.

Twitter is yet to respond to the orders issued by Singapore.

Singapore’s health ministry turned down the statement given by Arvind Kejrwal and added that the prominent Covid-19 variant in the recent weeks was the “B.1.617.2 variant, which originated in India”

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