The information environment has changed. In the past, organizations like newspapers and television stations were the primary source of important information. Guided by a code of ethics, information coming from these sources are credible, balanced and objective. With the advent of social media, the information environment is now dominated by citizen journalists. Unfortunately, the anonymity of the internet and the inability of any government to effectively hold people accountable, has given rise to a group of opposition supporters who wage guerrilla information warfare against the government.
Since GE 2011, the Government has acknowledged that it had lost control of the social media domain and has tried hard to regain some presence. Unfortunately, sites like the now defunct The Real Singapore, The Online Citizen and States Times Review had established a foothold that could not be dislodged. Run by anti-government supporters, these sites continuously distort statements by the Government, spread malicious rumors, create untruths, disseminate misinformation and smear the government. Anything and everything the Government does is against the interest of Singaporeans.
The upcoming Singapore General Election 2015 promises to be more of the same. The Singapore Government (and the ruling People's Action Party (PAP)) continue to lack presence in the social media domain and this will not only hinder their ability to communicate effectively and responsively to Singaporeans, but also hinder their ability to counter lies by the opposition and opposition supporters.
This is where you come in. At Singapore General Elections 2016, we believe that Singaporeans must make an informed choice. Like the PAP, we firmly believe that it is your right to vote for the party whom you think will best serve Singaporeans and Singapore even if it is the opposition. We just want you to vote with all the facts in hand. To help ensure that you are not deceived, we need you to challenge questionable information being circulated online by being SURE: (a) consider the source of the information; (b) seek to understand the facts; (c) research what you have read or heard; and (d) evaluate fairly.
Subsequently, if you believe that Singaporeans are being misled, we ask that you actively share the truth. This can be done via sharing contents from pro-Government sites and Facebook pages like Singapore General Elections 2016, Yours Faithly Singapore, Rise of the Strawberry Nation, Lovely Singapore, Singapore Matters, Fabrications About the PAP and Talking Singapore on your social media platforms. If you are uncomfortable and do not want to be flamed, all you need to do is simply respond to false information by asking your friends to consider the source and to understand the facts before jumping to conclusions.
At the end of the day, come polling day in September 2015, Singaporeans will decide who will lead Singapore into the next 50 years. Whatever the outcome, we will need to live with our choice and the choices of our fellow Singaporeans. For the sake of our children's future, we hope that Singaporeans will vote wisely based on the facts and not the lies being spread by online. Only you can help your fellow Singaporeans choose wisely.