Singapore will soon have a new Code of Practice for Online Safety, and Content Code for Social Media Services, requiring social media platforms to implement community standards and content moderation processes, with a view to combating online harms.
These will focus on three particular areas:
- child safety
- user reporting
- platform accountability.
Extra safeguards will be needed for users who are under 18 years of age. Platforms will need to ensure there are ways for users and their parents to detect inappropriate content online, so as to minimise the exposure of young persons to such content.
Any non-compliance with these codes will empower the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to take regulatory action against infringing players, such as directing them to disable access to harmful content by Singapore users. Platforms could also be required to produce annual accountability reports to be published on IMDA's website.
The public consultations on these codes are expected to commence in July, and when finalised will be issued pursuant to Singapore's Broadcasting Act.
Online safety is a growing concern and Singapore is not alone in seeking stronger safeguards for our people. Over the years, social media services have put in place measures to ensure user safety on their platforms. Still, more can be done given the evolving nature of harms on these platforms and the socio-cultural context of our society. Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo