Government-linked company, Blackbox Research, today (May 1) published a fake survey founding that the government-controlled media are more credible than online news sites. Straits Times alone scored 87% credibility – where only 13% believe the national propaganda media is churning fake news. Another state media, ChannelNewsAsia, scored 88%. Government websites are found with the highest credibility at 93%. The survey also found that two online tabloid sites – Temasek Review Emeritus and All Singapore Stuff – and both scored only 56% in credibility according to their survey.
States Times Review and The Online Citizen have been left out of the survey.
The survey interviewed 1,000 Singaporeans in April this year and was conducted by Blackbox Research. However, the “key consultants” of the surveying company are right-wing academics with one formerly from the Lee Kuan Yew School and civil service. Set up only in 2010 as part of the government’s propaganda campaign, Blackbox Research has been instrumental in leading propaganda news with polls using pre-selection of survey respondents. In 2016, it surveyed that the PAP government won the general election way before the election was held in 2015.
The Blackbox Research survey prompted several right-wing academics in Singapore to call for the government to ban online news sites, which are accused of publishing fake news. A right-wing academic state media Straits Times interviewed, Ryan Lim, said that news that erode trust of government leaders are fake news:
“Not many are yet aware of the different, subtle forms fake news can take, and how they can slowly affect your trust towards, say, public institutions or leaders… Treat fake news like a virus. If you think something is a bit fishy, check it out first. If you can’t verify it, isolate it and kill it off.”
Another right-wing academic, Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan said:
“Singaporeans have come alive to the fact that fake news is around us.”
Law Minister K Shanmugam has earlier last month vowed to make online news sites “feel the pain” and singled out States Times Review for punishment. The law minister promised to enact new laws to ban the website, which he said could be a weapon by foreign governments. The Singapore government is currently planting the label of “fake news” on news sites to clamp down on criticisms affecting their reputation.