Socio-political site “The Independent Singapore” has retracted two articles that made allegations against NTUC Foodfare Co-operative.
According to them, they have “learnt that some of the facts in the articles were not as what we were led to believe.”
Now what were they led to believe?
On the 19th of November last year, they published an article alleging that an elderly hawker died of exhaustion after working 18-hour days to avoid paying hefty penalties by the food-centre operator.
They published a separate article on the same day alleging that NTUC Foodfare had imposed a fine of S$3,500 on an “elderly and injured tenant” who had to shut the stall for a few days because he was unable to work and could not find replacement workers.
Accusing a person or an organisation as complicit in a matter that led to death is pretty damning. It factually and objectively created an air of distrust between NTUC Foodfare and members of the public.
The article and its accustions have already planted itself into the grapevine and new gossips and rumours have sprouted from there.
On the 19th of November, Facebook erupted with anger and rage. Few, if any at all would apologise for their part in accelerating this fake news.
It took a while for The Independent to apologise. At first they had maintained that its articles were “based on facts” and should remain published until proven to be “false and baseless”.
It was false and baseless and this retraction shows how careless reporting can damage an organisation.
If you had shared the article also, will you care to apologise? Or would it hurt your pride too much?