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Straits Times miscounts POFMA directions for Gutzy Asia in past six months

In a recent article, Straits Times incorrectly stated that Gutzy Asia received three POFMA correction directions within the last six months. If the reporter had counted the dates, she would have realized Gutzy Asia only received two such directions in that period.

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In a recent article, the Straits Times incorrectly stated that Gutzy Asia received three correction directions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) within the last six months. However, Gutzy Asia has only received two such directions within the last six months.

On Tuesday, Gutzy Asia was issued a declaration by Mrs Josephine Teo, Singapore’s Minister of Communications and Information, designating its website and social media pages on Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter) as Declared Online Locations (DOLs) under POFMA.

According to the Minister, this declaration was based on three directions issued with respect to at least three different false statements communicated on Gutzy’s online platforms.

  • 16 October 2023: Issued in regards to an article reporting the suicide of a female who was said to be a foreign domestic helper by Singapore Eye when she was a Singaporean.
  • 15 February 2024: Issued in regards to an article reporting on a Facebook post by Progress Singapore Party NCMP Leong Mun Wai about the financial status and assistance received by two residents.
  • 18 February 2024: Issued in regards to an article reporting on a Facebook post by Reform Party chief Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam about the properties at 26 and 31 Ridout Road rented by Mr Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

It should be noted that the POFMA office acknowledged that Gutzy was issued the POFMA direction for the article on Mr Jeyaretnam’s Facebook post because it included the URL link to the social media post, not because it had repeated the statements.

Under the act, a Minister may declare an online location as a declared online location if three or more different statements that are the subject of one or more active Part 3 or Part 4 directions have been communicated on the online location within six months before the declaration date.

Therefore, if Mrs Teo wanted, she could have issued a DOL after the post on 15 February since there were already five false statements of facts, over the three required, but she didn’t. Instead, she waited until June, when the October post had lapsed the six-month period.

As a matter of fact, even if there was only one correction direction on 15 February, the Minister would have grounds to declare Gutzy Asia as a DOL because the correction direction on the report on Mr Leong’s FB post contained over three false statements of facts.

The confusing choice of words by the Minister in her declaration and the law’s criteria for DOL declarations might have misled Straits Times, which erroneously reported that Gutzy Asia’s online accounts were issued three correction directions within six months.

This discrepancy, if the reporter had checked the dates accurately, shows that the first declaration was issued nearly eight months ago.

At a book launch last year, Mrs Teo stated that the Government is committed to supporting local media so that news organisations here can “stay the course” and continue to reach the vast majority of Singaporeans amid growing competition for their attention.

“We want local media to thrive and be able to provide high-quality, credible local content to all Singaporeans. This is why we are funding both Mediacorp and SPH Media Trust in their transformation efforts,” she said. “In return for the Government’s support, our ask of the media companies is to strive towards successful digital transformation and be effective providers of media and news, whether in print, broadcast, or through the Internet.”

Ironically, despite these remarks, the Straits Times failed to accurately report on a simple matter of counting the months for the POFMA correction directions.

This error raises questions about their standards, even with the substantial government backing of a S$900 million support package—with fierce support from Mrs Teo in Parliament and out in the public.

Moreover, Straits Times has chosen not to include the comments that were sent to the writer in regards to whether Gutzy Asia will appeal against the declaration, even though they were sent earlier, giving the impression that Gutzy Asia remained silent over the query.

 

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ST slapped its own face…

PAP news publishing Straits Times surely will sided with Singapore PAP government

Galling. Galling.

Pretty much galling of the Shit Times to pay homage to their prostitute Political Parents when IT IS the FACT, Few MILLIONS of CITIZENS, TAX PAYERS whose MONEY PAID FOR their SALARIES and, GIVE THEM their Rice Bowls.

Using or creating draconian laws to silence the critics.
So predictable. If ever this nation decided to change their government, make sure to set up a tribunal for all these MFs who used their authority to quash the innocent.

Don’t talk so much. Just vote out sex in a small place Jo teo. Period.

You tell people to put up your version of truth under POFMA. When people follow you still want to take it further to shut them down. Those in ST are free riders. Can we expect anything different in their behaviour? They serve the ruling party but take their salaries from the Public. Please have some self respect for yourselves and resign. You are not serving the Public.

POFMA is a weapon to CLOSE DOWN INFORMATION which paints the PAP as 😈. They use POFMA like a lawyer issuing judicial letters akin to enforceable demands. Not so. Why sue Yang after POFMA demand instructions.

Last edited 1 month ago by The Trishaw

So simply reporting about social media posts that are then struck by “POFMA” also means that you also run the risk of getting struck by “POFMA.” Not only is POFMA used to suppress free speech. It is also used to suppress independent news outlets should they report on anything that the ruling government deems “incorrect.” Of course, Mediacorpse and Singapore Propaganda Holdings will never be struck by POFMA since they won’t even dare to report on anything that is even an inch away from what their masters deem “true.” I think the worse part is that social media websites are… Read more »

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