On Wednesday (2 September) following a rousing debate between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh in Parliament, Straits Times published an article titled: “Parliament exchange between PM Lee and Pritam: A tour de force speech sets stage for masterclass in debate.”
As is customary, ST shared a link to that article on their Facebook page with a short caption. However, one astute netizen realised that the caption on the post was changed by ST about eight hours after it was shared.
The netizen pointed out that the original caption read: “PM Lee may have exhorted MPs to ‘raise their game’, but it was he and Leader of Opposition Pritam Singh who gave a masterclass on what raising this bar looks like.”
But about eight hours later, the caption was edited to: “PM Lee may have exhorted MPs to ‘raise their game’, but it was he who gave a masterclass on what raising this bar looks like. The new Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh also rose to the occasion…”
In the comments section of ST’s Facebook post, the netizen who spotted the change noted that this was a “masterclass in editing” by ST. Another person replied to suggest that the ST editor might have received a direct call to make the edits.
A Google search of the post also clearly shows the changes that were made, with the earlier post holding Workers’ Party (WP) MP Pritam Singh to the same level as PM Lee in “raising the bar” for debates in the House.
The more recent post, however, removed mention of Mr Singh in the first sentence, only including him in the following sentence as an aside, saying that he “also rose to the occasion”.
We note that not only did ST edit the caption on its Facebook post, it removed the original post entirely and created a new one. On Facebook, any edits made to a post can be viewed by checking the edit history. The current ST Facebook post of this article doesn’t have that option, because it created a new post instead of simply editing the old one.
The original Facebook post is no longer accessible.