HardwareZone forum post about Wuhan virus S'pore death rumour slapped with POFMA correction direction

HWZ has complied with the POFMA order.

Sulaiman Daud | January 27, 2020, 03:51 AM

Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulations Act (POFMA) Office to issue a correction direction to SPH Magazines Pte Ltd, which operates the HardwareZone Forums (HWZ).

A post on HWZ claimed that a man had died as a result of the Wuhan novel coronavirus in Singapore.

This claim is contrary to the known facts on the ground, where as of 11pm on Jan. 26, 2020, no deaths as a result of the virus have been reported.

According to government fact-checker website Factually:

"At 5.50pm on 26 Jan 2020, a HardwareZone Forum post claimed that a 66 year old man died in Singapore from a newly identified virus that caused him to develop severe pneumonia.

As of 11pm on 26 Jan 2020, there have been no deaths among confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus infection."

HWZ is required to carry the correction notice to all end-users in Singapore who use the website.


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HWZ put up correction notice

As of 3:30am on Jan. 27, HWZ complied with the correction direction and added the notice in its forum.

The original post and the accompanying thread appears to have been deleted from the forum.

This marks the first time that POFMA has been used against a post made in an online forum by an anonymous user.

Previous uses of POFMA were made against social media posts, website articles, and website statements from known organisations and individuals, such as opposition politicians in Singapore.

Top image from HWZ.