2021 年 99 巻 p. 173-189
This paper analyzed the passage of Singapore’s Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act from the perspective of platform governance. This paper clarified how the country’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) ministers and politicians justified the adoption of top-down government legislation to regulate online falsehoods, rather than relying on self-regulation by digital platform companies or co-regulation by companies and the government. This paper asserted that, rather than Singapore’s authoritarian state forcefully justifying the law with its own logic, the argument circulating around Europe, on promoting legislation of platform companies to regulate online misinformation and disinformation, was used to justify the law. This paper provided an overview of critical arguments against the self-regulation and co-regulation of online falsehoods, and arguments justifying legal regulation. The paper presented a critique of the argument that digital platforms are not responsible for the content their users post, as the platforms are neither the publishers nor the speakers of that content. In addition, this paper cited the argument that digital platforms’ self-regulation is prone to a lack of accountability. Furthermore, the “click economy” business model employed by these platforms, which rewards users based on the number of clicks is also criticized. Using these frameworks, this paper analyzed the process of passing the Act. In this process, the PAP ministers and politicians emphasized the responsibilities of self-regulation exercised by digital platform companies such as Facebook and Google, and how these responsibilities were not adequately fulfilled. In addition, they highlighted the click-economy business model as an obstacle to policing online falsehoods and manipulation, thus justifying government regulation with a clear due process. This led to the rejection of self-regulation and little discussion of the possibility of co-regulation.