Singapore is considering introducing a unique law addressing “cancel culture,” which involves publicly criticizing or shaming others for perceived wrongdoings. This comes amid escalating conflicts between supporters of gay rights and conservative religious groups following the decriminalization of homosexuality in Singapore. Although concerns about limiting freedom of speech have been raised by some, the government aims to strike a balance between protecting free speech and preventing hate speech.

“Cancel campaigns” conducted online can have significant repercussions, leading to self-censorship and preventing reasonable public discussions. However, defining the act of “canceling” poses challenges due to the lack of a widely accepted definition. To address the internet-specific aspects, the law may require cooperation from social media platforms, which might need to regulate users or comply with court orders to remove offending posts. Identifying perpetrators of “cancel culture” would necessitate special legal mechanisms to address the rapid spread of information and potential harm to reputations. Given Singapore’s existing internet-related laws, any rule on “cancel culture” must be carefully crafted to navigate the many aspects of online interactions.