Facebook blocks users’ access to States Times Review page in Singapore hinh anh 1The States Times Review Facebook page was available outside of Singapore on Feb 18, 2020. (Photo: channelnewsasia.com)

Singapore (VNA) – Facebook on February 18 disabled access to the States Times Review (STR) Facebook page, making it unavailable to users in Singapore as the page published falsehoods on various issues in the country, including the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The social media giant was asked to do so on February 17 by the office overseeing the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).

The STR Facebook page, run by Singaporean Alex Tan who says he is an Australian citizen based overseas, has received three correction directions under the fake news law since last November. Two had to do with the virus outbreak.

After Tan ignored all the directions, the STR page was designated a declared online site on February 15, and barred from receiving any financial benefit, among others.

Despite this, he did not comply with the rules under POFMA, and the authorities then issued an order for Facebook to disable access to the page for Singapore users.

POFMA come into effect from October 2 last year. Under the bill, the Singaporean government can order internet platforms or intermediaries to bar access by end-users to material containing false statement of fact. Any organisation that does not comply with the government’s directions may incur fines of up to 500,000 USD./.