The Ministry of Information and Communication is currently in discussions with the technology industry and the general public on a new code of conduct for social media platforms.

Once passed, the Code of Conduct for Online Safety and Content Codes for Social Media Services will be a safety standard to minimize the risk of user exposure to harmful online content such as terrorist advertising. Requires a platform that implements the content moderation process.

The platform adds tools to minimize exposure to inappropriate content such as sexual or violent videos and unwanted interactions such as online stalking and harassment for users under the age of 18. You also need to ensure that you have a safeguard.

The new rules aim to codify these standards by law and empower authorities to take action on platforms that do not meet the requirements. They are expected to be added to the Broadcast Act.

The Department of Information and Communication Media Development (IMDA) has stated that it will be empowered to instruct social media services to disable access, but the ministry is still developing in collaboration with the technology industry, so certain codes Has not released many details regarding the provisions. For online content that is harmful to Singapore users.

The platform also needs to produce an annual accountability report published on the IMDA website.

These reports should include metrics to show the effectiveness of the system and process.

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There are five types of online harm that can be covered by a code of conduct for online security and content codes for social media services.

1. Violence and terrorism

Social media platforms need to proactively detect and remove violent videos and other content that encourages violence, such as terrorist promotions.

One example is the 2019 incident. In this case, a gunner attacked a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, and fired at Muslim worshipers while live-streaming a terrorist attack on Facebook using a camera mounted on a helmet. Video clips quickly flowed to other platforms like Twitter.

In another case, the mobs who attacked Capitol Hill in the United States last year used social media to organize themselves and amplify their message.

Similar materials that incite violence, as well as content that encourages voluntary violence, such as suicide, are also subject to the new code of conduct.

2. Dangerous virus challenges

Social media “challenge” that encourages dangerous behavior is another example of the harmful online trends that code is trying to reduce.

Last year, a 10-year-old Italian girl died after participating in an online “Blackout Challenge”. This challenge encouraged users to choke themselves until they fainted.

Some platforms have taken steps to eliminate these challenges.

Viral video platform TikTok has blocked hashtags and videos related to last year’s “Milk Crate Challenge” because of concerns that participants could be seriously injured. This trend included filming users stacking milk boxes on a tower and then climbing. Many videos have shown users to fall to the ground while attempting stunts.

3. Sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment

This code is also intended to minimize the risk of users being exposed to sexual content and abuse, including child pornography. A platform is required to detect and remove materials that promote child sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as content that promotes sexual violence.

We also work on sexual harassment, online stalking, “revenge porn” threats, or non-consensual sharing of sexual images. Social media platforms are needed to enable users to easily report such unwanted interactions, evaluate their reports, and take appropriate action in a timely manner.

An example of sexual harassment is a poll disseminated on social media last year calling for a local female assatiza (a Muslim religious teacher) to be ranked according to sexual attraction.

4. Threat to public health

Content that threatens public health can also violate the new rules.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, conspiracy theories and virus social media posts contributed to vaccination hesitation and urged people not to pay attention to the measures taken to control the spread of the virus. There is a possibility.

Similar posts can pose a threat to public health and may be subject to rules for combating harm online.

5. Threats to racial and religious harmony

The new code takes into account Singapore’s unique situation, including sensitive issues such as race and religion. Covers offensive content and incidents that can cause racial or religious tensions.

As an example, a man was charged with agitating racial tension after posting a racially offensive tweet using the pseudonym Sharon Liew’s Chinese female persona.

The other is a 2020 post by someone using a profile called the “NUSA theist Society” that depicts the Bible and the Quran as an alternative to be used in the event of a shortage of toilet paper.

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