In a survey conducted by REACH Singapore, close to two-thirds of respondents were concerned about the spread of fake news on the Internet.
An even higher proportion (8 in 10) were concerned about individuals or companies who were profiting from deliberate fake news.
80 percent of the respondents supported strengthening laws to better deal with the spread of false information. Over 90 percent felt that there should be more effective laws to require those who publish fake news to remove or correct the fake news.
The strong support for laws to be strengthened and for malicious action to be prosecuted suggests that more needs to be done in this regard, REACH said in a media release on Mar 26.
The survey also found that 77 percent came across online news that they thought were not fully accurate. Of those who came across inaccurate online news, almost 4 in 10 came across fake news related to Singapore in the past one year.
Among respondents who came across inaccurate online news, 50 percent came across it on WhatsApp and 46 percent came across it on Facebook.
“The prevalence of fake news and the ease with which it can propagate online presents a serious challenge to our society, not least because it can strain our social fabric and have real-life consequences in some cases. Singaporeans are aware of the danger and understand that more needs to be done to tackle the issue, both in terms of regulation and education," said Sam Tan, REACH Chairman and Minister of State for the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.