Social media platforms to remove harmful content, add youth safeguards according to S’pore internet rules

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SINGAPORE – Social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Twitter will soon be required by law to implement community standards and content moderation processes to reduce users’ risk of exposure to harmful online content, under Singapore’s new internet rules to minimize.

They must also ensure additional protections for users under the age of 18, including tools to help users or their parents minimize their exposure to inappropriate content and unwanted interactions.

Communications and Information Minister Josephine Teo gave some details of the proposed new rules in a Facebook post on Monday (20 June).

“There’s a growing global movement pushing to improve online safety and to recognize that with the good, there comes a downside when people engage in social media,” she said.

“Many countries have legislated or are in the process of legislating to protect users from online harm.”

Ms Teo said Singapore’s preferred approach to strengthening its online regulatory approach is to do so in a consultative and collaborative manner.

“That means learning from the experiences of other countries, involving technology companies in the latest technical developments and innovations, and understanding the needs of our employees.

“It allows us to develop requirements that are technically feasible, can be effectively enforced, and are fit for purpose.”

The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said Monday it has been holding consultations with the tech industry since earlier this month, and public consultations will begin next month.

The new code of conduct for online safety and the code of content for social media services are intended to enshrine these standards in law and give authorities the power to act against platforms that do not meet the requirements.

The codes are expected to be incorporated into the Broadcasting Act after the consultations.

Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will be empowered to order social media services to disable access to harmful online content for users in Singapore.

In addition, the platforms must produce annual accounts that are published on the IMDA website.

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