New Codes of Practice proposed by Government to enhance online safety, protect users from harmful content

Under the proposed Codes of Practice, IMDA can direct social media services to disable access to specific types of harmful content.

Ernest Cheng

Published: 20 June 2022, 7:06 PM

Singapore has proposed two new online Codes of Practice to enhance online security, announced Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo on Monday (Jun 20). 

Under the new codes, social media services with “high reach or high risk” will have to adopt system-wide processes that enhance online safety for all users, especially the younger ones. 

Community standards should also be implemented to minimise younger users’ exposure to harmful or inappropriate content. 

Users who are subjected to online harms should have access to user reporting mechanisms to flag them out to social media services to take appropriate action. 

Users will also be protected from content that threatens both public and personal health – such as sexual and self-harm. 

IMDA will be allowed to direct social media services to disable access to specific types of harmful content, as well as disallow specific online accounts from interacting and sharing such content with users in Singapore.

The new Codes of Practice was first brought up during the Ministry of Communications and Information Committee of Supply Debate on Mar 4. Ms Teo said then that new policies will be introduced to deal with harmful online content accessible by users in Singapore, especially children. 

Citing Singapore’s consultative and collaborative approach when it comes to online regulatory, Mrs Teo explained that this proposal comes after various engagement sessions with over 300 stakeholders. 

She also acknowledged the calls from the stakeholders to develop more support mechanisms and infrastructure for victims of online harms. 

The public will be able to express their views and feedback regarding the policies through the Public Consultation Exercise in July. 

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