Sunday, June 2, 2013

Problem is in the wordings... again

The recent big hoo ha over the MDA ruling over online news sites got many Singapore netizens up in arms. The reason is very simple. It's again, in the wordings of the "licensing framework".

According to MDA, under the licensing framework, online news sites will be individually licensed if they (i) report an average of at least one article per week on Singapore’s news and current affairs over a period of two months, and (ii) are visited by at least 50,000 unique IP addresses from Singapore each month over a period of two months.

A “Singapore news programme”, according to MDA,  is any programme (whether or not the programme is presenter-based and whether or not the programme is provided by a third party) containing any news, intelligence, report of occurrence, or any matter of public interest, about any social, economic, political, cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific or any other aspect of Singapore in any language (whether paid or free and whether at regular interval or otherwise) but does not include any programme produced by or on behalf of the Government.

The problem? The above 2 paragraphs cover everything under the sun as long as you're talking/writing about something that is related to Singapore. It does not say personal websites/blogs are not in the licensing framework, which was what certain individuals have been clarifying these past few days. No wonder so many people are up in arms about this latest ruling.

This reminds me the time where Instagram terms and conditions were changed unilaterally by Facebook, causing every netizens in the world to boycott Instagram instantly after it was announced.

Solution to this? As simple as what Facebook did. Change the wordings. Put clarity into obscurity.

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