The social networking giant Facebook stated on Tuesday, November 13 that why they did not accept the request by Singapore authorities to take down a States Times Review post linking Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with 1MDB investigations and stood by its policies.
As per the reports, Facebook said that they have a responsibility to handle any government request to restrict alleged misinformation carefully and thoughtfully but the company has no policy that prohibits alleged falsehoods, except in situations where the content has potential to trigger violence or physical harm.
Monika Bickert, vice-president of Facebook's product policy division said that the content guidelines should have clear lines so that the team of reviewers can make a decision on whether to take down a post or not.
She stated that the company has no policy of removing false content because it would be extremely hard to identify whether a specific piece of information is true or false. Bickert added that if governments find content that violates their laws, there is still a process for them to submit a request.
A few days ago, on Friday, November 9 Singapore's Ministry of Law (MinLaw) slammed Facebook for its response to take down the States Times Review article, which they called "baseless and defamatory" and filed a police complaint about it. Later, the Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said the allegations were very 'absurd'.
On the same day, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) had asked the social media platform to deny access to the offending post but they did not accept the request. When IMDA issued an order for States Times Review to take down the article and it was rejected, they directed Singapore's internet service providers to restrict access to the website.
The MinLaw said that the social media company "cannot be relied upon to filter falsehoods or protect Singapore from a false information campaign." The ministry also added that Singapore needs a legislation on deliberate online falsehoods.
In last September, along with Google and Twitter, Facebook also singled out in a Select Committee report that made recommendations to the Government on how to deal with the online fake news.