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Eldorado

Anti Fake News laws passed in Singapore

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Eldorado

"Legal action will be taken when the “deliberate online falsehood” meets two criteria: when there is dissemination of a false statement of fact, and when such action is deemed in the public interest, the law ministry said in a statement."

Full report at the South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3004196/singapore-introduces-anti-fake-news-law-counter-falsehoods-aimed

"Singapore has passed a controversial anti-fake news law that gives authorities sweeping powers to police online platforms and even private chat groups."

At the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48196985

"After a marathon two-day debate that stretched late into Wednesday evening (May 8), Parliament passed a comprehensive piece of legislation to combat fake news."

At the Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/parliament-fake-news-law-passed-after-2-days-of-debate

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Alchopwn
Posted (edited)

This is a very tricky law.  The real danger with such laws is that they become potentially a form of censorship tool with which to silence free speech.  Consider, if you will, that language itself is only ever able to  symbolically approximate the facts, and that is much the same as a half-truth. Even a person who sets out to tell the complete truth, thru the very nature of language will fall short of doing so.  Nobody who makes a statement could possibly then ennumerate all the exceptions to their statement, past, present and future, as a means of contributing to the accuracy of their statement.

So therein lies a huge problem.  If you have a law that says that all falsehoods are illegal, then who decides what is true?  Can it be legislated by politicians? After all, people love and trust their politicians so much. Should it be debated by the legal institutions of the country ad nauseum and to the exclusion of other crimes?  There may be an objective truth that we can measure and verify scientifically, but that doesn't currently extend to human linguistic interactions.

Then there is the issue of the lies people "like to hear".  For example, should we disallow the existence of religions that cannot verify their claims with evidence because they are effectively telling lies? Is the Good News also Fake News?  Some would say yes.  So  should we throw people who make greeting cards into jail for offering empty platitudes?  Where does it end?  Taking people to jail for telling a joke?  Getting locked up for sarcasm, because they intention of what you say doesn't match with your choice of words, and the meaning is locked in your expression of the words?

Then there is the person who prints what they think are the facts but not all of what they write turns out to be accurate.  What do we do with them?

Much as I like the truth, and think it should be defended, I don't think it is at all wise to have a law that prevents "fake news", as it effectively presents the false position that someone actually knows what is true on all topics and on all occasions, and no opinions that vary from this "truth" deserve to be expressed.

This sort of law unless very carefully worded will rapidly turn into a form of censorship that potentially silences everyone forever, and no democratic society can survive that.  We already live in a climate of "Freedom of speech, just watch what you say", so why make it worse with a blunt instrument like legislation which in all likelihood will be every bit as flawed as the fake news it is trying to suppress.

Edited by Alchopwn
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Myles
1 hour ago, Alchopwn said:

This is a very tricky law.  The real danger with such laws is that they become potentially a form of censorship tool with which to silence free speech.  Consider, if you will, that language itself is only ever able to  symbolically approximate the facts, and that is much the same as a half-truth. Even a person who sets out to tell the complete truth, thru the very nature of language will fall short of doing so.  Nobody who makes a statement could possibly then ennumerate all the exceptions to their statement, past, present and future, as a means of contributing to the accuracy of their statement.

So therein lies a huge problem.  If you have a law that says that all falsehoods are illegal, then who decides what is true?  Can it be legislated by politicians? After all, people love and trust their politicians so much. Should it be debated by the legal institutions of the country ad nauseum and to the exclusion of other crimes?  There may be an objective truth that we can measure and verify scientifically, but that doesn't currently extend to human linguistic interactions.

Then there is the issue of the lies people "like to hear".  For example, should we disallow the existence of religions that cannot verify their claims with evidence because they are effectively telling lies? Is the Good News also Fake News?  Some would say yes.  So  should we throw people who make greeting cards into jail for offering empty platitudes?  Where does it end?  Taking people to jail for telling a joke?  Getting locked up for sarcasm, because they intention of what you say doesn't match with your choice of words, and the meaning is locked in your expression of the words?

Then there is the person who prints what they think are the facts but not all of what they write turns out to be accurate.  What do we do with them?

Much as I like the truth, and think it should be defended, I don't think it is at all wise to have a law that prevents "fake news", as it effectively presents the false position that someone actually knows what is true on all topics and on all occasions, and no opinions that vary from this "truth" deserve to be expressed.

This sort of law unless very carefully worded will rapidly turn into a form of censorship that potentially silences everyone forever, and no democratic society can survive that.  We already live in a climate of "Freedom of speech, just watch what you say", so why make it worse with a blunt instrument like legislation which in all likelihood will be every bit as flawed as the fake news it is trying to suppress.

I agree.   This is a huge step towards censorship.  Alternative views could be shut down completely.   You can only print/report what the government says is true.  Yikes!

 

Is that Capone in your avy?   I see you are from Chicago.   My family came from Chicago.   My Dzia Dzia (grandfather) on my dads side used to run liquor for Capone back in the day.  He passed in 1980.   I remember he always had a little derringer on his side.    

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Alchopwn
Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2019 at 11:26 PM, Myles said:

Is that Capone in your avy?   I see you are from Chicago.   My family came from Chicago.   My Dzia Dzia (grandfather) on my dads side used to run liquor for Capone back in the day.  He passed in 1980.   I remember he always had a little derringer on his side.    

Yeah, that is totally Capone in my avy.  That is the "Alchopwn" joke name thing... i.e. pwning by alcohol= Al Capone's thing given prohibition etc (it's a pun, decide if you like it or not).  Kudos for having an old school Chicago gangster in the family. It was an interesting and formative period in US history to have links to, and one we as a nation still haven't properly understood imo.

I would never pretend that I thought Capone was a great guy, he was a syphilitic thug, but far from stupid and surprisingly quoteable. Capone was a perfect example of what happens when moralists try to legislate their ethical prejudice onto other people without understanding how market forces operate. Criminals take over, but to be fair, they aren't all as charismatic and popular as Capone was back in the day.  I am not from Chicago btw, but Capone was and I wanted to stay in character a little.  The tag line "Public service is my motto" is a Capone quote btw.

So, back to the issue of censorship, can you see why I think the issue is really nuanced and why it is really hard to legislate?  I mean, I think that if the USA ever meddled in this area, we would be better off trying to enforce a standard of journalistic practice that forces neutrality of voice and demands a high standard for checking sources, rather than banning "fake news".  I mean, if we cannot properly know or communicate what truth is, how can there ever be any news that isn't ever partially true and partially fake?  I mean, we have put 2000 years+ into trying to figure out what truth is, and most of our answers are pretty unsatisfactory imo, so anyone who wants to legislate around that is wading into dangerous philosophical waters imo.

Edited by Alchopwn
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Great Old Man

The fake news, is very complicated issues in R.OK too.

Even There are movements which want to censoring "Youtube". 

Then I want to make a question. What is the fake news? even mass media make a fake.

They want to censor " free internet like YouTube" in the name of "fake news"

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Alchopwn
2 hours ago, Great Old Man said:

The fake news, is very complicated issues in R.OK too.

Even There are movements which want to censoring "Youtube". 

Then I want to make a question. What is the fake news? even mass media make a fake.

They want to censor " free internet like YouTube" in the name of "fake news"

The current climate of trying to silence people is ridiculous and dangerous.  Why do some people want to live in an echo chamber where they only hear their own opinions repeated back at them?  That just seems like insecurity to me.  It is as if they can't actually defend their opinions with words, so they have to resort to destroying one of the fundamental pillars of democracy, purely to get their own way.  Hmm... low functioning control freaks?

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RabidMongoose
On ‎10‎/‎05‎/‎2019 at 12:31 AM, Eldorado said:

"Legal action will be taken when the “deliberate online falsehood” meets two criteria: when there is dissemination of a false statement of fact, and when such action is deemed in the public interest, the law ministry said in a statement."

Full report at the South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3004196/singapore-introduces-anti-fake-news-law-counter-falsehoods-aimed

"Singapore has passed a controversial anti-fake news law that gives authorities sweeping powers to police online platforms and even private chat groups."

At the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48196985

"After a marathon two-day debate that stretched late into Wednesday evening (May 8), Parliament passed a comprehensive piece of legislation to combat fake news."

At the Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/parliament-fake-news-law-passed-after-2-days-of-debate

Trump needs this.

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RabidMongoose
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Alchopwn said:

The current climate of trying to silence people is ridiculous and dangerous.  Why do some people want to live in an echo chamber where they only hear their own opinions repeated back at them?  That just seems like insecurity to me.  It is as if they can't actually defend their opinions with words, so they have to resort to destroying one of the fundamental pillars of democracy, purely to get their own way.  Hmm... low functioning control freaks?

You will accept socialism, you will accept atheism, you will accept mass immigration, and you will accept a rainbow culture.

If you express any opinion against them you are a racist bigoted homophobic uneducated extremist. You have no right to think differently (even if you take care to express yourself tactfully) and will be silenced.

Edited by RabidMongoose
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Sir Smoke aLot
On 5/10/2019 at 1:31 AM, Eldorado said:

and when such action is deemed in the public interest

Let the games begin. These broad statements and adoption of them in laws are getting pace. Far more important decisions are made in Germany and the US but that is just the start of it. Some things have to be regulated, i am all for it but there has to be made clear, definitive statement of what is wrong and how should it be treated. Making broad statements and adopting those as a law allows so much abuse and, basically, legalizes human rights abuse.

As in this case of Singapore, who decides what is ''in the public interest''?

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” - G. Orwell

I would believe any government that it does seek justice and peace when they adopt similar laws but only if :

1. they had no homeless people, other than homeless by choice (since that falls into freedom of expression, doesn't it)

2. school was free or made available for cheap so that state could sponsor every child without much expense, every child regardless of their origin, skin color, religion, race or even nationality

3. press in that country was independent and not polluted by agendas

4. people were not dying because they lack money for medical care 

That would be a good start towards building integrity and some sort of moral high ground to even consider such abusive laws.

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Alchopwn
5 hours ago, Sir Smoke aLot said:

Some things have to be regulated, i am all for it but there has to be made clear, definitive statement of what is wrong and how should it be treated.

Well, every country has a legal code that covers such things.  On the other hand, when you start regulating freedom of speech it merely drives dissenting opinion underground and creates an environment for terrorism to flourish.  What can't be said in public with a megaphone and placards is often said with a car bomb in a crowded shopping precinct.  Worse still, if and when those dissenting voices do get into a position of influence, then they are likely to think that they should silence those who silenced them.  I, on the other hand, think that there need to be more public forums where people are exposed to different ideas, even ideas they find offensive, and are required to respond to them in a civilized fashion.

5 hours ago, Sir Smoke aLot said:

L

As in this case of Singapore, who decides what is ''in the public interest''?

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” - G. Orwell

I would believe any government that it does seek justice and peace when they adopt similar laws but only if :

1. they had no homeless people, other than homeless by choice (since that falls into freedom of expression, doesn't it)

In terms of homelessness, Singapore is pretty good.  They are pro-active about finding homes for people, and the numbers are very low given the size of the city.  In a recent sweep of people sleeping in the open in Singapore, it was discovered that most of them had jobs and homes, i.e. they weren't actually homeless at all, they had just missed the last train home.

5 hours ago, Sir Smoke aLot said:

2. school was free or made available for cheap so that state could sponsor every child without much expense, every child regardless of their origin, skin color, religion, race or even nationality

Singapore has that well in hand.  Their education system is free, and poorer students get govt subsidies and even charity support on top of that where necessary.  This doesn't apply to tertiary study.

5 hours ago, Sir Smoke aLot said:

3. press in that country was independent and not polluted by agendas

Singapore has a Journalism code of ethics LINK here, as to whether that means they have agendas, well, all humans have a bias in their opinion, how can we possibly hope to get rid of that?

5 hours ago, Sir Smoke aLot said:

4. people were not dying because they lack money for medical care 

Singapore's healthcare system is sixth in the world for quality, but is ranked as the most efficient in the world by Bloomberg.  On the other hand it is paid for by insurance and is expensive to access. so they get about a 3 out of 4.

On the other hand, Singapore has a bad record on censorship and plenty of overly authoritarian laws.

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quiXilver

what a load of ****...

 

there are as many versions of the truth as there are perceivers...

no two perceive life the same.

whose truth do we listen to?  our own, always.

this is why facts do not sway the opposition in a debate/argument.

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South Alabam

If it is very clearly fake news, then "Book em Danno."

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Sir Smoke aLot
18 hours ago, Alchopwn said:

On the other hand, Singapore has a bad record on censorship and plenty of overly authoritarian laws.

I guess that we shall see how everything plays out for them. Regardless of Singapore being very developed and is one of major economical players in their region laws like this are dangerous tool and can be abused hard.

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third_eye

Take away the ratio of percentages and Singapore is barely Microsoft ™ four times over itself...  this is just a test bed motion to tease it in motion on a global scale, regardless of what and how 'freedom ' is defined, this is the way the future is shaping up to be, that's the baggage that comes with the digital connected world... 

~

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Alchopwn
37 minutes ago, third_eye said:

Take away the ratio of percentages and Singapore is barely Microsoft ™ four times over itself...  this is just a test bed motion to tease it in motion on a global scale, regardless of what and how 'freedom ' is defined, this is the way the future is shaping up to be, that's the baggage that comes with the digital connected world... 

Let's hope not.  It will do a lot of damage to democratic insitutions if people cannot speak and publish freely.

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third_eye
4 hours ago, Alchopwn said:

Let's hope not.  It will do a lot of damage to democratic insitutions if people cannot speak and publish freely.

Democratic institutions is a party to 'it'

who actually gets to speak and publish freely anymore, I mean, truly... there's nothing that is nothing left to lose anymore, power and money...  that's all there is when it comes right down to it 

~

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