30 January 2024

The Ministry of Communications and Information (“MCI”) is leading the Online Trust and Safety (“OTS”) Research Programme as part of the Singapore Government’s efforts to develop local capabilities to tackle new forms of online harms. This S$20 million initiative was announced on 10 January 2024. Funded under the Smart Nation & Digital Economy domain of Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan, the programme runs from 2023 to 2028.

A Centre for Advanced Technologies in Online Safety (“CATOS”), set up under the OTS Research Programme, will be a platform to bring together our community of research partners, companies and practitioners in Singapore to build capabilities for a safer internet. Such capabilities may include tools and measures to: (i) detect harmful content, such as deepfakes and non-factual claims, (ii) inject watermarks or trace the origin of digital content, and (iii) empower vulnerable groups with resources to verify information they encounter online.

Since April 2023, CATOS has engaged with local researchers, technology developers, and industry, through workshops and seminar events, to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities in online trust and safety.

CATOS is scheduled to be officially launched at the inaugural OTS forum in the first half of 2024.

Reference materials

The press release is available on the MCI website www.mci.gov.sg.