POFMA’ed V2021.04.15

This update includes the POFMA uses on 15 April, requested by the Ministry of Health. This marks the first reported use of POFMA since July 2020.

Correction directions were requested by the Minister for Health against digital communications which allege COVID-19 vaccines contributed to a doctor’s stroke and another individual’s death. The Ministry of Health stated in their press release that: “As of 14 April 2021, there is no credible evidence for an increased risk of heart attack or stroke with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines which are currently approved and offered in Singapore.”

The World Health Organisation has created a concise explainer on vaccine safety, which notes that “Millions of people have safely received COVID-19 vaccines. All of the approved COVID-19 vaccines have been carefully tested and continue to be monitored.”

Changelog (v2021.04.15)

  • Inclusion of 1 new report, 3 new POFMA uses and 6 new communications.
A note on this dataset’s methodology and sources

The sources used in data collection are government reports (POFMA Office press releases and Gov.sg Factually articles). Media reports and direct sources (the communications themselves) are also used to verify the actor type and accessibility of the communications. A full description of the dataset’s methodology can be found here, and the full dataset can be downloaded here.

Note that this is how the dataset defines reports, uses and communications:

  • A report is a government press release issued to announce a use of the legislation.
  • Within a single report, one can find multiple distinct directions or orders under POFMA. Each of these are classified as a distinct use of POFMA.
  • Each direction or order can affect multiple distinct electronic communications, such as a Facebook post or website article.

For example:

  • According to Report 1, a Facebook post is the subject of a correction direction, issued to Individual A.
  • According to Report 2, this same Facebook post is also the subject of a targeted correction direction, issued to Facebook.

The POFMA’ed dataset would thus track that Facebook post as one communication, subject to two distinct POFMA uses, according to two distinct reports.

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Are you thinking of using this dataset? I’m keen to improve this dataset’s accuracy and useability to others, and am always eager to hear your thoughts and feedback. If you have thoughts, comments or suggestions, please do direct them towards POFMAed@gmail.com. A big thank you to the academics and journalists who’ve been giving me your feedback and advice. It is greatly appreciated!