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Singapore’s Code of Practice for Online Safety

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By creating the Code of Practice for Online Safety, Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has made a crucial step towards guaranteeing a safer online environment for its users. This aims to decrease the risks posed by dangerous content on social media platforms, especially for vulnerable users like children.

It also requires authorised Social Media Services (SMSs) to improve internet safety in Singapore and to prevent the spread of dangerous content on their platforms. Likewise, the Online Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act went into force early this year to combat dangerous content on online networks accessible to Singaporeans.

This Act empowers IMDA to identify SMSs with considerable reach or impact in Singapore as complying with the Online Safety Code. This strategy assures that major social media platforms actively contribute to protecting their users from potentially unsafe content.

The strategy taken by IMDA in developing and improving the Online Safety Code has been multifaceted, involving considerable engagement with numerous parties. This procedure included speaking with members of the public, academics, and industry leaders to learn about their concerns and practical issues for online safety. Significantly, designated SMSs were also heavily involved and invited to make formal comments to the Online Safety Code, fostering a collaborative effort to create a safer online environment.

The Online Safety Code establishes critical requirements for authorised SMSs, focusing on user safety, especially that of children, by limiting their exposure to harmful content. To accomplish this, the platforms need to build robust systems and methods for successfully dealing with harmful information. Clear community norms and advanced content filtering techniques are among these efforts, guaranteeing a safer online environment for all users.

The IMDA’s Online Safety Code equips Singaporeans with tools to control their safety on social media sites. These technologies allow users to hide potentially dangerous content, limit location sharing, and regulate the visibility of their accounts to other users.

Further, authorised SMSs must provide user-friendly reporting tools for dangerous content or unwanted interactions. This encourages people to actively contribute to a safer digital community by reporting suspicious content, knowing that their concerns will be taken seriously and addressed as soon as possible.

Designated SMSs in Singapore ought to produce annual online safety reports to maintain accountability and transparency. These reports provide useful information about the platforms’ security procedures and levels of efficiency in combatting unsafe content.

Besides, these reports are available online, allowing users to make informed decisions on which designated SMS best meets their safety needs. In the second half of 2024, the first set of annual online safety reports will be issued on the IMDA website.

The problem of harmful online information is a global concern, and IMDA recognises the importance of working together to address it. Singapore’s government has enhanced its regulatory framework and is dedicated to combating the growing threat of dangerous online content.

Public education activities, in collaboration with regulatory measures, will be critical in safeguarding Singapore users from internet risks. IMDA is committed to continuing to collaborate with SMSs to improve internet safety for all users.

The IMDA’s Online Safety Code is a critical step towards ensuring a safer online experience for Singaporeans. The Code encourages openness, accountability, and confidence in the digital sphere by holding designated SMSs accountable and providing users with reporting mechanisms and safety features.

As it navigates the issues of inappropriate online content, the government hopes to provide a secure and resilient online environment for its people, especially the most vulnerable.


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