Fake News, Disinformation and Subversion: A Singapore Perspective
This presentation begins with a survey of the international landscape on fake news, disinformation, and subversion. The survey includes some sense of what key countries have been trying to do to fight disinformation and subversion. Some of the measures taken are legislative in nature. However, there is also the recognition that legal solutions do not provide a silver bullet and that other means are needed in order to shore up the will and resilience of the people.
The presentation then considers Singapore, which is in many senses a unique country – it has no resources except its people. The people itself live in one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan countries on the Earth. Chinese, Indians, Malays and other races mix and commingle easily. Various religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhists, and Taoists) are present too. This diversity is a strength. However, in an era where fake news and rumours that can stoke up communal and religious tensions are prevalent, the cosmopolitan nature of Singapore society can easily be targeted, from within and from without. The presentation takes the audience through some of the steps taken by the authorities to examine the phenomenon of fake news (not least, the Parliamentary Select Committee that considered the views of various experts in depth earlier this year). The presentation also takes the audience through likely future developments (including, but not limited to, legislation) that the Singapore landscape is likely to see in the coming months and years.