(Singapore Sep 18, 2023) The Singapore government has blocked local Internet service providers’ access to Australia-based academic website East Asia Forum due to falsehoods found in its article titled “Spate of Scandals Strike Singapore.”

Following East Asia Forum’s non-compliance with the Correction Direction issued on 13 September 2023 for falsehoods in its article “A Spate of Scandals Strike Singapore”, the Minister for Communications and Information (MCI) has directed the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to issue Access Blocking Orders, MCI has announced.

Screenshot of a East Asia Forum website page

The Access Blocking Orders require internet access service providers to disable access for end-users in Singapore to the East Asia Forum’s website, where the falsehoods are communicated.

The 13 September Correction Direction issued to East Asia Forum had required the facts to be juxtaposed against the falsehoods, so that end-users in Singapore can read both versions and decide for themselves, the MCI said.

“East Asia Forum did not comply with the Correction Direction,” the MCI said in the announcement.

While East Asia Forum carried the Government’s response at the bottom of its article within the comment section, this was not done in compliance with the requirements of the Correction Direction for the respective Correction Notices to be situated at the top of the article and on the main page of the website.

MCI also said that should East Asia Forum subsequently comply with the full requirements of the Correction Direction, the Minister will cancel the Access Blocking Orders.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office has also separately instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office to issue today, a Targeted Correction Direction1 to Meta Platforms, Inc in light of East Asia Forum’s failure to carry the Correction Notice on its Facebook post linking to the same article. Meta Platforms, Inc will be required to communicate a correction notice to all end-users in Singapore who had accessed East Asia Forum’s Facebook Post.