Singapore is considering implementing the world’s first law against “cancel culture,” which involves publicly criticizing individuals or organizations for perceived social wrongdoings. The government is worried about the growing conflict between supporters of gay rights and conservative religious groups following the recent decriminalization of homosexuality in Singapore. The government aims to find a balance between protecting free speech and preventing hate speech. Authorities are reviewing existing laws in response to feedback from conservative Christians. Online “cancel campaigns” can have a strong impact, leading to self-censorship and preventing reasonable public discussions. Defining what it means to “cancel” someone is a challenge since there is no widely accepted definition. Therefore, the law would require clear and precise language to define the act.

Since “cancel culture” primarily occurs online, the law would need to address internet-specific aspects and might involve collaboration with social media platforms. Platforms might be required to regulate users and comply with court orders. Special legal mechanisms would be needed to identify those responsible for cancel culture due to the fast spread of information and potential damage to reputations. Any “cancel culture” law would need to be carefully designed to handle the complexities of online interactions. The government’s goal is to establish appropriate boundaries between hateful speech and free speech while mitigating the negative effects of “cancel culture”.