Singapore churches and government tech companies to combat online radicalism
The Catholic Church and religious and community organisations in Singapore have teamed up with the government and social media companies to help combat cyber radicalism and understand how to expand their online presence.
Singapore’s Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth inaugurated the initiative last Saturday amid concerns over cyber indoctrination and radicalism, The Union of Catholic Asian News reports.
Tech giants Facebook, Google, Twitter and TikTok will host three workshops from June to August to help churches and organisations strengthen their online presence and understand how to react to radical content posted online, especially when dealing with sensitive religious and racial issues. The goal is to inform religious organisations on turning youth away from extremist content about race and religion that has permeated the internet, especially during the pandemic.
Gina Goh, regional manager for Southeast Asia for International Christian Concern, a global religious persecution watchdog organisation, commended this move in an email statement sent to The Christian Post.
“The pandemic has resulted in the increase of internet usage for people,” Goh wrote. “Unfortunately, extremism finds its entry to the internet users’ minds if the latter lack the ability to discern. Left unchecked, people will be radicalized and encouraged to take action against religious venues or people of faith.”
“It is great to see the Singaporean government take necessary measures to educate local communities on the importance of filtering out terrorism and extremism online,” she continued. Several cases of cyber-radicalism in Singapore spurred the initiative.