Singapore Decides That Only The Professionals Should Discuss Politics
from the much-safer-that-way dept
If there’s one thing Singapore knows well, it’s “rules.” The country, famously described as Disneyland with the Death Penalty by William Gibson many years ago is known for being… a bit of a stickler when it comes to rules. That includes rules that help keep the ruling party in power, as well. So, it probably comes as no surprise that the country’s leaders have chosen to remind its citizens that there shall be no regular online discussions about politics among the general citizenry. Specifically, “politically themed” blogs and podcasts will be asked to suspend operations. People will be allowed to occasionally mention the election — but do it too often and they’ll be required to register and then abide by laws that ban any kind of political advertising by the media. The reasoning is pretty straightforward: “In a free-for-all internet environment where there are no rules, political debates could easily degenerate into an unhealthy, unreliable and dangerous discourse flush with rumors and distortions to mislead and confuse the public.” That’s funny, since it’s always seemed like that’s exactly what politics was all about.