Facebook tightens political ad rules in Singapore as election looms

Facebook last year started introducing several similar initiatives in various countries, including the United States and India. (File/AFP)
Updated 26 September 2019

Facebook tightens political ad rules in Singapore as election looms

  • Ads about social issues, elections or politics in Singapore should confirm their identity and location, and disclose who is responsible for the advertisement
  • Singapore has repeatedly said it is vulnerable to foreign interference in its domestic affairs

SINGAPORE: Social media giant Facebook Inc. said on Thursday it had implemented new rules for political advertisements in Singapore ahead of an election in the city-state expected within months.
The new rules require those who want to run ads about social issues, elections or politics in Singapore to confirm their identity and location, and disclose who is responsible for the advertisement.
Facebook will also require “Paid for by” disclaimers in advertisements, which will be stored in a searchable online library for seven years.
Under pressure from authorities around the world, Facebook last year started introducing several similar initiatives in various countries, including the United States and India, to increase oversight of political ads.
Singapore — which has been ruled by the People’s Action Party since it split from Malaysia in 1965 — has repeatedly said it is vulnerable to foreign interference in its domestic affairs.


US Senator Cruz: Twitter’s failure to delete Iranian officials’ accounts could violate sanctions

Updated 29 May 2020

US Senator Cruz: Twitter’s failure to delete Iranian officials’ accounts could violate sanctions

  • Cruz urged Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to open an investigation into Twitter “for possible criminal violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA)”

LONDON: US Senator Ted Cruz called for a criminal investigation of Twitter on Friday over allegations the company is violating US sanctions against Iran by not banning officials from the site.

Cruz urged Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to open an investigation into Twitter “for possible criminal violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA),” he wrote in a letter sent to the the US Justice and Treasury departments.

In the letter, Cruz explained that he had informed Twitter of their violation of the IEEPA through two specific and active Twitter accounts belonging to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“To this day, Twitter continues to provide services to these covered individuals, and, in an April 3, 2020 response letter, attempted to justify this decision with two untenable arguments,” he wrote.

“In early April, Khamenei and Zarif used their Twitter accounts to post anti-American disinformation and conspiracy theories, not authoritative health information. They use their accounts provided by Twitter to threaten and taunt their enemies real and imagined. In any event, Twitter’s corporate values and grave misapprehension of the threat that Khamenei and Zarif pose are irrelevant,” he added.

“The Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice should investigate what appears to be Twitter’s blatant and wilful violation of IEEPA and E.O. 13876 by providing services to Khamenei, Zarif, and other designated Iranian entities, and, to the extent appropriate, enforce any violation through sanctions and by seeking civil and criminal penalties.”