back to article Singapore orders social media to correct Indian politician’s allegation of local COVID-19 variant

Singapore’s Ministry of Health has invoked the island nation's Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act and required social media companies and media to refute reports that a local variant of the Coronavirus has been detected. The Ministry's verbosely-titled "General Correction Directions" stated: There is no …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So evolution is real then

    Just to remind everyone, evolution is real, verifiable, not just a theory..... here a virus mutating, and the faster spreading more successful versions are spreading faster. The UK Variant, the South African variant and the Indian variant is the one the Indian official is trying to distract from.

    Totally predictable evolution of the virus. Not just a theory.

    If you have a Fox News viewer friend, you might want to have an intervention, given their "curse worse than disease" helped kill more Americans than Hitler killed. And given their Tucker Carlson is trying to undermine vaccine rollout and kill a few more, trying and stop kids wearing masks to kill a few kids too.

    You might want to bring your Republican buddies back to the real world, by pointing out the disingenuous lies that Fox News spews out, point out how the virus has mutated and is spreading more successfully now, with a healthy reminder of all the people it kills, and will kill if Tucker manages to convince them to not get vaccinated.

    Fox News don't "own the Libs" by intentionally killing their own viewers by lying to them. So have a word, with your Fox News viewing buddies and try to get them to see the lies they're been told.

    If they're religious, show them how their religious beliefs have been twisted and used against them, by Conservative media. Of course God knew evolution was real, it was the pundits on Conservative media, lying, pretending to be channeling God, as if God lies through Fox & Friends! They used religion against the religious to turn it their lies into a test of faith.

    Evolution, real, provably, not just a theory.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So evolution is real then

      But as long as the excess birth rate (from ineffective/non existent birth control, and preventing abortions) is greater than the excess covid death rate , then evolution will continue to spawn more and more Fox viewers.

      The bumblebee doesn't know that he can't fly so he does it anyway, and likewise Fox viewers will continue to (d)evolve.

      Unlike God, Darwin doesn't expect faith to keep on working.

    2. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: So evolution is real then

      Well no. Evolution is a theory. The evidence we are seeing does support the theory accurately predicting what will happen but it is still just a theory. And how you got from that to a generic rant against Fox/US Republicans I have no idea.

      1. Boothy

        Re: So evolution is real then

        "...but it is still just a theory."

        I suspect your mixing up scientific theory and the everyday usage of the word theory. Which unfortunately seems to happen quite regularly.

        For context, a regular theory is basically just an idea someone came up with. That is not what it is in science.

        A theory in science describes an explanation for something, that has been repeatedly tested, verified, and peer reviewed using the scientific method, it is then generally accepted as the valid explanation.

        Typically you start with an observation, someone with then devise a hypothesis (i.e. the 'idea' part) that matches what can be observed. This leads to tests and experiments, analysis of results, conclusions, predictions, more observations, more tests etc.

        Only once it's been through the mill a few times, verified independently, peer reviewed etc, does it get promoted to a Theory, and it's only really considered a scientific theory if the scientific community accepts it. i.e. There has to be enough broad support for the proposed theory, for it to actually be accepted as one.

        Granted some theories can eventually be superseded, or even falsified (i.e. evidence against it found), as we find more data, improve equipment etc.

        As an example, Newtonian gravity was superseded by general relativity, but Newtonian gravity is still 'good enough' for most use cases, and is vastly easier to visualise and teach than general relativity is, so we still teach Newtonian gravity in schools, and it's still used by engineers for designing buildings, space flight etc. You only really need general relativity if looking at light speed (or close to) type problems.

        For biological evolution specifically, the evidence is overwhelming and has been for many many years, from multiple sources (fossil records, DNA, lab experiments, observation of living animals etc etc), and is this evidence is growing all the time.

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: So evolution is real then

          Only once it's been through the mill a few times, verified independently, peer reviewed, signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters etc ...


      2. Stork Silver badge

        Re: So evolution is real then

        - a theory just like gravity :-)

      3. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: So evolution is real then

        And how you got from that to a generic rant against Fox/US Republicans I have no idea.

        Perhaps because essentially 100% of creationists in the US are republicans, and the party has expanded their denial of science from those humble beginnings to include claims that the planet is not getting warmer, covid is "just a flu", vaccines don't work, masks are harmful, and on and on.

        If tomorrow Trump claimed the Earth was flat, polls would soon show that is a belief of over 50% of republicans and most Fox News hosts would be speaking up against stupid liberals believing NASA's lies that the Earth is round. Heck, QAnon probably already believes this.

    3. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: So evolution is real then

      "Evolution, real, provably, not just a theory"

      Micro evolution is real, provably.

      Macro evolution is still a reasonable hypothesis for the variety of life we see on the planet, but it is rather difficult to _prove_ that it is the mechanism by which it occurred without a time machine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So evolution is real then

        They are not different types of evolution, micro and macro just refer to the time scales you're looking at.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: So evolution is real then

        "it is rather difficult to _prove_ that it is the mechanism by which it occurred without a time machine."

        It's a good thing we have a time machine, then. It's called genetic paleontology unless you want to use the specific terms for each time period. Lots of preserved genetic material and the products thereof have been disinterred, sequenced, and compared both to other historical material and modern material. It tells us a lot.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So evolution is real then

      One might consider it a bit disingenuous to Godwin Covid in that way given that the US were a bit late to the game in both world wars. Another - and similarly irrelevant - comparison is that a similar number have died in the UK in a way associated with Covid as did in some of the bloodier attempts to 'move Haig's drinks cabinet 6' closer to Berlin.'

  2. the Jim bloke

    Basic Maths

    If you are getting a variant/mutation every thousand cases, then having millions of people carrying the infection will result in thousands of variants - and the more successful/virulent/infectious ones will out compete the original, become the new normal - and seed the next generation of variants.

    Ignoring the virus doesnt make it go away.

    Early in the pandemic someone made the comment that it's less important how high the ceiling of your healthcare system is than how low the floor is.

    1. You aint sin me, roit

      Wrong icon!

      "No shit, Sherlock" or "Fail" would be more appropriate.

      This really isn't complicated, so much so I'm amazed at the level of delusion of people who advocated herd immunity, letting it rip, or piling bodies up by the thousands.

      Like the people who say the first lockdown did nothing because covid is seasonal. Startling insight into a disease that had only been around for six months. And completely at odds with the experience of southern hemisphere countries...

      Either deluded... or evil.

  3. Dr Scrum Master

    No variant vs no evidence

    In typically paternalistic (totalitarian-lite) fashion the SGP gahmen says:

    "There is no Singapore variant"

    As opposed to the more scientifically plausible:

    "There is no evidence of a Singapore variant"

    1. b0llchit Silver badge

      Re: No variant vs no evidence

      There is no spoon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No variant vs no evidence

        But there is a spork. Now there's a mutation if ever I saw one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No variant vs no evidence

          OK, that's the reply of the week.


    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: No variant vs no evidence

      Except if they have tested people and the covid variant they are infected one is the "Indian" variant then there is no "Singapore" variant and anybody saying otherwise is incorrect.

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: No variant vs no evidence

      There is no Singapore variant - yet - that is notable, as far as we know.

      I don't know much about it but I think Singapore has managed mostly to control SARS-CoV-2, with slips noted here

      Equally, since the claim puts "Singapore" in quotes, there is no "Singapore" variant, which would be a notable variant already identified by science and appropriately attributed to Singapore. That has not happened. What Singapore does now have the Indian B.1.617 variant. This may or may not include further Indian variants B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3.

  4. don't you hate it when you lose your account

    Not sure

    Which virus is worse. Covid or social media. The variants of stupidity produced by the later are truly scary

    1. Richard Jones 1

      Re: Not sure

      It is almost a hard question to answer, though the low mental capabilities of some antisocial media users might stun those with the ability to think and understand.

      While Fox lovers get a lot of odium, there are many equally wild eyed zealots of all types spread across the antisocial media swamp. It is just that some get to hit the broader publicity streams more easily in different locations and with different groups, some being very publicity seeking.

      1. Warm Braw

        Re: Not sure

        there are many equally wild eyed zealots of all types spread across the antisocial media

        There always have been such people throughout human history. What changes periodically is the extent to which those who wish cynically to exploit them for their own gain are given a platform from which to do so.

    2. the Jim bloke

      Re: Not sure

      The two are multiplicative

      Social media is irritating, offensive, and occasionally fatal - going for that perfect selfie on the cliff edge or beside the wild animal..?

      Covid 19 is debilitating, infectious, and frequently fatal.

      When you put the two together - There are SYNERGIES !!! involved

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shifting the blame

    Governments have found it convenient to attach xenophobic labels to the variants, effectively blaming foreigners.

    Singapore local infection rates are so low that it is extremely unlikely that there is a Singaporean strain

  6. Sparkus

    Considering that the Coronavirii

    superpower are rapid change/mutation, it's wholly conceivable that local and geo-specific mutations can and will arise.

    It's how the 'common cold' and yearly flu virii make the rounds so fast and easily. And it's why, just as we have to do with yearly flu shots, we may have to get yearly coronavirus shots for years/decades......

    1. Shalghar Bronze badge

      Re: Considering that the Coronavirii

      No we "may" not. If you need some good laugh, try the resolution 2361/2021 of the europe council, naturally totally irrelevant as everything from them, promising not to enforce vaccinations and not to diasadvantage or discriminate against people who cannot or will not accept vaccinations. Same resolutions asked producers of vaccines to make the contents of their products public, none complied until now.

      SARS 1, H5N1 (not sure if that was bird or swine flu) are also strains that hop from animal to human and vice versa and neither of those, nor any of the previous 18 CoViDs ever needed regular shots. Nor does the normal annual flu in its many variations need forced vacination. You cannot get rid of endemic and regularly changing illnesses with vaccines.

      Whats called "vaccination" in germany also is no real immunisation, just the mRNA medications like that from Pfizer (with the marketing smokescreen biontech) that effectively leave the first stages of your immune system totally unaware of any new virus and infection and effectively only teach your body to copy with the pathogens that are produced if you catch a hard case of CoViD 19 by forcing your body cell to produce those pathogens..

      This may be effective to actually ensure milder outcomes of an infection but its not an immunisation and thus no vaccination in the classic meaning.

      Bonus points for delaying the approval of real vaccines, like J&Js copy of russias sputnik or other real vaccines, implementing virus parts so that your immune system can actually react as soon as an infection happens. As this government enforcement slowed down medication gives the virus ample time to form variants (or "mutants" as german panic press calls them) the whole lockdown terror is prolonged till kingdom come. Not even enforcing vaccinations (what they are trying to do by shock propaganda) will give back basic citizen rights or lift the lockdown anyway, instead "experts" like Lauterbach are preaching lockdown forever - except for production workers and public transport of course as the virus is only infecting in the smoldering remains of private life.

      If your luck is rotten or your body has unforeseen anomalies though, you´re in for a deadly clot or other adverse effects, naturally unforeseen as the mRNA stuff is not appropriately tested for long term issues (could´nt do, guv, needed to be fast) nor its ill effects on minors.

      There is a lot of credit that has been lost due to extreme cases of corruption in german government concerning other corona-gadgettery and leaked documents on how to influence the populace to accept vaccinations by terror propaganda, lockdown terrorism and other measures of inappropriate manipulations and enforcements. "Trust" to established parties is under 20% at this time. Suggesting a continuous vaccination programme that will benefit the already overwhelmingly benefitting big pharma corporations is definitely not adviseable in the current scenario.

      Much less as there is still no exit date nor concept for the whole crazyness of so called "protective mesures".

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