atans1

BSing academics protected from fake news law?

In Internet on 19/04/2019 at 10:34 am

OMG. Our local academics can continue producing fake news without getting into trouble.

But let me begin at the beginning. On 11 April, 83 academics (only two based here, although there were 30 over S’poreans based overseas) signed a letter of concern about the proposed Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA). They sent it to the education minister*.

In a public reply, the education ministry assured academics that the proposed law will not affect academic work. The group behind the letter, Academics Against Disinformation, said that they are unable to accept that assurance from the Ministry until it is reflected in the language of the bill.

Here’s what I posted earlier about our very own local academics producing fake news:

Local academics propogate fake news?

Our brown-nosing constructive nation-building academics presented at the recent Select Committee hearings on Deliberate Online Falsehoods,

an alarming scenario of disinformation campaigns launched by foreign actors bent on attacking the island state, of cyber armies in neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore working as proxies for other countries in undermining national security.

Did they produce any evidence?

But the actual examples of fake news which have come up during this national debate have mostly been prosaic; a hoax photo showing a collapsed roof at a housing complex, which sent officials rushing unnecessarily to the scene; and an erroneous report of a collision between two trains on the light rail transit line.

As the BBC reporter wrote

Irritating and worrying for some, for a while, but hardly likely to bring Singapore society to its knees. In any case both Singapore and Malaysia already have plenty of laws capable of penalising false, inflammatory or defamatory comment.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43637744

So, as far as I’m concerned the row on Coldstore between PJ Thum and our brown-nosing constructive nation-building academics is “The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable!” (Re Oscar Wilde)

Or  “A plague o’ both your houses!” (Shakespeare)

Btw, have to tell u that the reporter also said

It also gave Singapore academics and officials an opportunity to snipe at the US belief in free expression, the “marketplace of ideas”, which had allowed the abuse of personal data on Facebook to take place, in contrast to Singapore’s “better safe than sorry” belief in a more tightly regulated society.

Thinking about it, it’s reasonable to conclude that our academics (save two) didn’t sign the letter because they know they are producing BS aka fake news. Our local academics can continue producing fake news without getting into trouble.

Among academics in Singapore, it is an open secret that work is circumscribed by the government’s desires. At conferences and workshops, academics awkwardly and regularly “joke”, tilting their heads to glance over shoulders, about their remarks being heard by “the government”. Students and younger scholars regularly ask if they should avoid certain topics because of “sensitivities”.

https://newnaratif.com/…/eaaab05200f0645e4451f748dc85ef7a

Since you have read this far, you may be interested in

Why the PAP is really afraid of Facebook?

Silencing fake news and inconvenient voices: two sides of the same coin

Fighting fake news while raising revenue

What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

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*The letter outlined concerns over the law, in particular POFMA “will have unintended detrimental consequences for scholars and research in Singapore and for the global academy”. The letter went on to say that that the Act “discourages scholars from marshalling their expertise in precisely the areas where it is most needed – namely, pressing questions and challenges for which there are no clear answer or easy solutions”.

 

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