Illustrative image (Source: EPA-EFE)

Singapore (VNA) – Singapore’s Parliament on May 8 passed a law to combat fake news which will allow authorities to order the removal of contents they disapprove.

The new law gives government ministers the power to demand social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to put warnings next to posts authorities deem to be false, and in extreme cases get them taken down.

If an action is judged to be malicious and damaging to Singapore’s interests, companies could be hit with fines of up to 1 million SGD (735,000 USD). Meanwhile, individuals could face jail terms of up to 10 years.

Authorities affirmed that the measures are necessary to stop the circulation of falsehoods which could sow divisions in society and erode trust in institutions.

The Singaporean government stresses the law targets false statements, not opinions, and that ordering "corrections" to be placed alongside falsehoods will be the primary response rather than fines or jail terms.-VNA