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Title: Fake News in ASEAN
Contributor(s): Smith, Robert Brian  (author)orcid ; Perry, Mark  (supervisor)orcid ; Cormier, Monique  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2020-12-18
Copyright Date: 2020
Thesis Restriction Date until: 2022-12-18
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Cybercrime is a fast-growing area of crime. More and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the Internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities that know no borders, either physical or virtual, cause serious harm and pose very real threats to victims worldwide. As the uptake of social media increases so does the opportunity to spread misinformation or disinformation, commonly called fake-news – a subset of cybercrime. The focus of this thesis is therefore, anti-fake news legislation in the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) using Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand as examples. This thesis found that there was no agreed definition of fake news. The literature shows that each country has its own particular focus on fake news. In Indonesia the major concern is the propagation of fake news to promote community unrest along ethnic, religious or political lines. For the Philippines the major concern is the proliferation of “fake news” farms where the preparation and distribution of fake news is a profitable business and even becoming an export industry. In Thailand the fake news laws appear to be focussed on prosecution those who criticise the Monarchy, the government and the government administration with the offences often being trivial. This thesis argues that a clear, comprehensive and unambiguous definition of the offence is needed. It proposes that the baseline offence is to enter into a computer system, publish or distribute material that contains disinformation or misinformation with the following subcategories based on Wardle’s matrix: the material is used to defame an individual; genuine sources are imitated; content is false and meant to deceive or harm; headlines, visuals or captions do not support the content; genuine content is shared with false contextual information; genuine information or imagery is manipulated to deceive. This thesis argues that the offence should be compounded if there was the intent of inciting hatred or violence against ethnic, religious, political and other groups in society. Importantly, however it is argued that it should not be a punishable offence for a natural person if they successfully claim in their defence that it was not deliberate nor misleading by design. Due to the differing legal systems and national languages within the ASEAN member states it is argued that harmonisation is best approached by a Convention which allows for parties to register their reservations. A proposed draft has been prepared in 2020 as part of the thesis.

Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 480302 Comparative law
480503 Criminal procedure
480405 Law and society and socio-legal research
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 230405 Law reform
230406 Legal processes
230407 Legislation, civil and criminal codes
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
Description: Please contact if you require access to this thesis for the purpose of research or study.
Appears in Collections:School of Law
Thesis Masters Research

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