(Updated)

Singapore deploys its fake news law against anti-vaxxer group

Singapore deploys its fake news law against anti-vaxxer group
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(Oct 25): Singapore’s Ministry of Health issued a correction order to website Truth Warriors over claims that Covid-19 vaccines are not effective.

International evidence shows categorically that vaccines cut Covid-19 infection, as well as serious illness and mortality rates from the virus, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. Truth Warriors, which says it is made up of a local community in Singapore, also claimed that Ivermectin is a potential treatment for such illness.

Vaccine hesitancy has been an issue as countries try to ramp up their numbers of fully vaccinated people to reach so-called herd immunity levels. Health officials around the world are also struggling with misinformation about alternative treatments for Covid. 

Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug touted by vaccine sceptics with no conclusive evidence it works, has been associated with poisoning incidents.

The website has to publish the correction notice at the top of each page containing the related statements under instructions from the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act, or Pofma, Office, according to the statement. There will also be criminal investigations on the case, it said. 

Under the website’s “Articles and Resources” page, correction notices have already been attached to two articles, stating that the page contains a “false statement of fact” and directing users to a government website. An email seeking comment, sent to an address listed on the Truth Warriors website, wasn’t immediately returned.

Claims by Truth Warriors that MOH wants corrected include assertions related to:

  • Case and death rates compared with vaccination rates across countries
  • Whether vaccines can prevent the transmission of Covid-19
  • Effectiveness of Ivermectin as a potential treatment for Covid-19, including in pregnant women