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Singapore telcos soon to promote Internet filters

Ross O. Storey | March 4, 2011
MICA Minister announces mandatory requirements

SINGAPORE, 4 MARCH 2011 - Telcos will be required to promote the use of Internet filters to consumers, as part of the Singapore government’s response to recommendations from a Censorship Review Committee.

The announcement was made last night by Singapore’s minister for information, communications and the arts, Lui Tuck Yew, while launching Media Fiesta 2011.

In his speech, Minister Lui invited parents to visit the StarHub, SingTel and M1 stations at Media Fiesta, to learn how such Internet filtering tools can make the World Wide Web a safer place for your children.

“The new media landscape gives us the freedom to access, create and share information to enrich our lives,” the minister said. “However, the Internet itself can be an information minefield. On the World Wide Web, lies and fallacies can masquerade as the truth; and the line between fact and fiction can be blurred.

Promoting ‘media literacy’

“Not surprisingly then, media literacy has become an essential life skill for the new media age. Besides, the use of media is so pervasive and so addictive and we therefore need to be more discerning in employing consuming media.”

Minister Lui said that, on an average, about seven out of every 10 Singapore viewers tune in to watch a free-to-air channel during Prime Time, from 7pm to 11 pm, every day.

He said Media Fiesta 2011, now in its third edition, is built around the theme of “Celebrate and Discover Media”, providing a platform for Singaporeans to learn more about good media literacy habits such as being able to critically assess information, by analysing, interpreting and verifying media messages, in a discerning way.

Minister Lui said that, with effect from June 2011, the Media Development Authority, (MDA) will be standardising the rating symbols across films, videos, free-to-air TV and subscription TV “to provide greater clarity and ease of use to the public”.

New rating symbols

“This means that you will see a set of rating symbols that are easier to identify and use when you watch content on any of these media platforms,” he said.

The Minister said there was a Parental Guidance rating on Singapore TV.

“I encourage you to be more aware of and to make use of content ratings to  discern what may be appropriate for you, your child and your family,” Minister Lui said in his speech.


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