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Digital Discourses
Kirsten Han (Singapore)

Singapore, “Fake News”, and a Shrinking Space for Civil Society

With the mainstream media in Singapore subject to government influence (if not outright control), online and social media platforms are important spaces for Singaporean political discourse. Yet the People's Action Party's dominance is also creeping into online spaces, particularly with the passage of laws such as the Administration for Justice (Protection) Act, or the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act. Such legislation tends to be worded extremely broadly, creating uncertainty about how these acts will be enforced, thus perpetuating the chilling effect of restricting expression in the city-state even further.  

In my presentation I’ll take a look at such legislation and its impact on civil society and press freedom in Singapore.


Kirsten Han Kirsten Han | © Jon Conicio Kirsten Han is a Singaporean freelance journalist and the Editor-in-Chief of New Naratif, a platform for Southeast Asian journalism, research, art and community-building.

Her work often revolves around the themes of social justice, human rights, politics and democracy. In 2019, she was awarded a Human Rights Press Award for her commentaries on the issue of “fake news” and freedom of expression in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Her essay The Silhouette of Oppression was published by Epigram Books in 2019.