Some see the new regulation as instituting more responsibility on news sites, but others label it as censorship. What's your take on the issue?

It depends partly on how you define censorship.

To us, censorship is third-party intervention between a willing sender and willing receiver.

If people are not willing to receive the content, you can't say it's censorship.

Hate speech, for example, should be removed, you might argue it's not censorship.

Censorship comes in if comments are made and for some reason deleted and people feel it's a valid comment.

Right now the new rules don't seem like censorship as they're removing "prohibited content" to do with public order issues.

The Government has also said it will introduce legislation next year to give it powers to enforce this licensing regulation on overseas-based sites. Is this tenable?

If this legislation is for news sites, it is tenable. But it's not in line with best practices. It wouldn't be good for business, education and research.

Blocking news sites will be a loss to Singapore.

limze@sph.com.sg


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