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Facebook flags user post in Singapore, under new 'fake news' law there

"The Singapore government says this post has false information," the notice reportedly says.

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Angela Lang/CNET

Under a new "fake news" law in Singapore, Facebook has added a notice to a user's post there, saying it contains info the government maintains is bogus. 

"Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information," says the notice, which was added to the bottom of the otherwise unaltered post, according to a Saturday report by Reuters. The news agency said the flagged post, from Nov. 23, contained accusations of election rigging.

Facebook said it had added the notice "as required by Singapore law."

"As it is early days of the law coming into effect," the company said in an emailed statement, "we hope the Singapore government's assurances that it will not impact free expression will lead to a measured and transparent approach to implementation."

The news comes as social media sites and government regulators struggle with how to balance worries about disinformation with concerns about censorship and free speech.

Reuters said rights groups have attacked Singapore's fake news law, which went into effect last month, saying it could threaten internet freedom there and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

The notice added by Facebook to the Singapore post includes a "learn more" link, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. The link goes to "a new page briefly explaining the law and adding that as a 'neutral platform,' Facebook doesn't endorse the truthfulness of either the posts on its site or government corrections," the Journal said.

Originally posted Nov. 30.
Update, Dec. 1: Adds emailed statement from Facebook.