6 in 10 Singaporeans back criminalising creator, sharer of fake info

Singaporeans were looking at the government and regulators to address the issue of the spread of fake information.

Six in 10 Singaporeans agreed to criminalise people and organisations who “knowingly create and share fake information” to curb the spread of fake news, according to a survey by Dutch Proof-of-Concept blockchain company, Wordproof.

Of the 900 Singaporeans surveyed, Wordproof said 43% believed that those who “knowingly share” fake information should be held "most accountable."

The majority of them believe that it made an impact on their decision making (64%) and had an impact on elections across the region (60%).

“To eradicate the spread of fake information, Singaporeans look to the government and regulators to solve the problem. They believe these figures have been most successful at curbing the spread thus far as opposed to tech companies or major news organisations,” Wordproof said in a press release.

“If more steps are taken in the right direction, most Singaporeans are optimistic and believe the state of misinformation will improve in the next five years,” it added.

It also said that half of the respondents would trust information encountered online more if they knew the organisation and author behind the content and most of them believe that content published online that is not connected to an organisation or author “should be limited in reach by search engines and social media platforms.”

Seven out of 10 respondents also agree that all contents published online should also be required to show users the history of changes made since publication.

“Trust in the Internet has deteriorated over the years, and has especially been affected during the pandemic, where a flurry of fake news and information has spread and impacted countless of users online. We believe users deserve a safer, more trustworthy Internet, and are working towards making truth part of the Internet’s DNA,” Wordproof Partner Frank van Dalen said on the state of misinformation in Asia.

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