Published: 04 April 2022
Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether there have been any hostile information campaigns targeted at Singapore residents since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict; (b) if so, what is the nature of these campaigns; (c) whether the Government is aware of the likely sources of such campaigns; and (d) whether the Government is taking any action to counter them.
Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Ministry for Law:
1. The Government has not detected a coordinated hostile information campaign (HIC) targeted specifically at Singapore so far. However, we have detected some social media accounts involved in local online discussions about the Ukraine conflict, with characteristics that suggested that they may be inauthentic. Separately, we have also noticed our population being influenced by news and commentaries, from foreign sources.
2. As MHA has said in media statements, we had surfaced the suspicious accounts to TikTok for its review. TikTok had conducted internal investigations and shared that the accounts did not appear to be of foreign origin.
3. Actions and misinformation could come in the form of hearsay, rumours, half-truths or misleading statements that may not be easily identifiable as such. They could appear to come from sources that seem local and/or authentic at first glance, and so are all the more insidious as they behave or are passed off as part of legitimate domestic discourse.