Legal Measures to control Fake News on Social Media: Laws of Thailand and Singapore compared
Nowadays, information technology is an important tool for communicating and disseminating or transmitting information to the public. This enables people to quickly get information from both the public and private sectors through modern media known as "social media" such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, etc. However, information sent through the social media may contain false or distort information, known as "fake news", which has a negative impact on the opinions of people in politics, economic and society, including the security of the country.
Currently, the existing law related to the control of fake news in the Kingdom of Thailand is the Computer-Related Crime Act 2007 and (No. 2) 2017 in which Section 14 (2), Section 14 (1) and Section 14 (5) stipulate the liability in respect of the illegal import and distribution or transmission of information.
In the Republic of Singapore, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019 (POFMA) was enacted on October 2, 2019 as a sui generis law with the specific purpose of controlling fake news on social media. There are several provisions in the Act covering actions related to communicating fake news on social media (i.e. communicating false information, creating or developing bots to communicate or support to communicate false information and providing services for communicating false information) and prescribing orders to correct false information and suppress the communication of false information, including specific duties, responsibilities and penalties for social media service providers.
The article considers that the Computer-Related Crime Act 2007 and (No.2) 2017 has no main purpose of controlling fake news in particular, the provisions of the Act therefore do not cover all actions related to fake news on social media, particularly the social media service providers’ appropriate penalty rate. Therefore, the Kingdom of Thailand should consider enacting a “sui generis law” for controlling fake news on social media particularly.
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