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Singapore Law Minister: Social media firms put profit above principle

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Mr Shanmugam defended Singapore’s law against concerns from social media firms

Social media firms are hampered by their commercial interests when tackling fake news, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said, underlining the need for the law against online falsehoods, which critics say stifles free speech.

Mr Shanmugam, speaking last Thursday in an interview for broadcast at the Reuters Next conference yesterday, defended Singapore’s law against concerns from the likes of Facebook that it is a censorship tool, and fears from rights groups and others that it is used for political gain.

He said the law was necessary because the platforms that often host fake news have business models that depend on “attracting eyeballs”.

He pointed to the United States where lawmakers have also chided social media firms for allowing misinformation about the US election to spread, particularly ahead of the storming of the US Capitol last week.

Source: The Straits Times