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Singapore government cracks down on harmful content on social media | Media

Social media platforms in Singapore will soon have to take action against “harmful”, sexual or self-destructive online content, or content that could threaten public health, under a proposed directive from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to protect consumers.

“Online security is a growing concern and Singapore is not alone in seeking stronger safeguards for our people,” said Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister for Smart Nation and cybersecurity, in a post on Facebook. “Over the years, social media services have put measures in place to keep users safe on their platforms. Yet more can be done given the evolving nature of harm on these platforms and the socio-cultural context of our society.

Proposed guidelines

According to an online survey by Sunlight Alliance for Action, a public-private partnership that tackles harm online, conducted in January this year, almost half of the 1,000 Singaporeans surveyed had difficult personal experiences with security. on line.

Teo announced that the government intends to put in place two codes of practice to enhance the online safety of its residents.

Under the first code, high-reach social media services will have to impose strict security standards to ensure that users are not exposed to any harmful or inappropriate content. Additional guarantees will have to be put in place for young users under the age of 18.

The second proposal states that the IMDA can order any social media service to remove specified types of “flagrant content”.

A public consultation exercise will begin next month.

The way forward for social media

Although the contribution of social media platforms and new technologies is undeniable, their use has led to many unseen and unintended consequences. “More and more countries are pushing to improve online safety, and many have enacted or are in the process of enacting laws around it,” Teo points out.

Under the new directive, action can be taken against social media platforms that fail to comply with the online safety gap improvement. Singaporeans are proactively encouraged to report child sexual exploitation and any abusive material, as well as terrorist content they encounter online. Networks should put in place strong accountability processes to address and act on these complaints.

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