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In a separate incident, a Chinese student was fined for his abusive comments towards Singaporeans.
He was charged again for contempt of court for several cartoons questioning Singapore courts for their differential treatment, based on status of nationality and political affiliation of the defendants.
A 2012 survey from Blackbox Research showed that 75% of the respondents felt that there was no need for legal action against racist online commenters, with 59% saying a formal warning should suffice for a first-time offender, and 16% indicating that it was sufficient to publicly shame them online.
In 2012, an assistant director at National Trades Union Congress membership department was fired for racist comments in Facebook.
Prohibited material was any content or activity that could be seen as "objectionable on the grounds of public interest, public morality, public order, public security, national harmony, or is otherwise prohibited by applicable Singapore laws." The early to mid-2000s saw the rising popularity of satire websites such as Talking and blogs like Yawning Bread and mrbrown, which offered alternative perspectives on socio-political issues from government-friendly mainstream media.
Dr Tan chose to shut down Sintercom due to concerns over the ambiguity of the Act.
The Sedition Act inherited from the colonial era is also used to charge internet users deemed to have promoted feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.