Singapore: Facebook Inc said it was "deeply concerned" about an order by the Singapore government to block access to a blog page on its social media website under a controversial law on fake news.
The government had instructed Facebook this week to block the States Times Review page in Singapore. The blog has repeatedly reported falsehoods and has not followed any instructions given to it under the Online Untruth Protection and Manipulation Act (POFMA).
Facebook said in a statement sent by email that it was legally forced to restrict access to the page.
"We believe that such orders are disproportionate and contradict the government's claim that POFMA would not be used as a censorship tool.
"We have repeatedly highlighted the potential of this overreach law and are deeply concerned about the precedent that this creates for restricting freedom of expression in Singapore," he added.
The government did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
The States Times Review, conducted by Australian-based Singaporean political activist Alex Tan, is known for its outspoken anti-establishment articles.
It has been censored three times under the Counterfeit News Act, most recently for articles criticizing Singapore's handling of the Corona virus outbreak, which the government said contained "completely wrong" information.
The fake news law, considered one of the most far-reaching of its kind, came into force in October when right-wing groups and opposition politicians were concerned about silencing criticism of the government.
The government has rejected such proposals that the law would only fight falsehoods and would not affect legitimate criticism and freedom of speech.
While most of the initial uses of the law have affected political opponents, the government has appealed against misinformation about the corona virus in recent weeks.