POFMA office starts investigations against States Times Review's Alex Tan, issues Targeted Correction Direction to Facebook

Facebook is directed to publish the correction instead.

Sulaiman Daud | November 29, 2019, 11:52 AM

The POFMA Office announced on Nov. 29 that the Minister for Home Affairs, K Shanmugam, has instructed it to issue a Targeted Correction Direction (TCD) to Facebook.

This is the first time the fake news law is being invoked on a social media platform.

This follows the decision of States Times Review founder Alex Tan to not comply with an earlier correction direction on a Facebook post that shared an article containing falsehoods.

Tan claimed in a Facebook post on Nov. 28 that he was an Australian citizen, which is disputed, and refused to do anything as he is within Australian jurisdiction and had supposedly not been instructed by the country he is in to do so.

The States Times Review Facebook post on Nov. 28 wrote:

We have not received any request from the Australian Federal Police or the authorities to take down any article.

States Times Review and it’s editor, who is now a citizen of Australia, will not comply with any order from a foreign government like North Korea or Singapore.

Alex Tan


Tan, the Ministry of Home Affairs said, is a 32-year-old Singaporean.

This is contrary to Tan's claim that he is an Australian citizen.

The TCD will require Facebook to publish the correction notice on the Facebook post instead.

The POFMA Office also stated that it has "commenced investigations" against Tan for failing to comply with the first correction direction.

Mothership.sg has reached out to the Australian High Commission in Singapore about Tan's citizenship.

Read the whole saga here:

Top image collage from Alex Tan Facebook and Gov.sg