TRS in trouble

The Real Singapore (TRS), a sociopolitical website, has been accused by other sociopolitical websites and media organisations of lifting and using articles without permission.

It has also been accused of blatant plagiarism and fanning xenophobia.

The site also fabricated stories to gain eyeballs and released information that damaged individuals.

The website has about 412,000 followers on its Facebook page, which was registered in January 2012. Its Twitter site sees about 6,800 followers.

Sept 2014: Karaoke chain K Box's membership database was leaked online after a group of hackers who called themselves "The Knowns" sent an e-mail to TRS and other media informing them of the hack.

TRS reproduced a screen grab of the e-mail which showed a link to the leaked information on its website and on its Facebook page.

The information there included personal details including NRIC numbers, names and addresses.

June 2013: TRS carried an article, "PAP MP Irene Ng: We should not play the blame game over the haze problem", which it falsely attributed to Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC, Ms Irene Ng.

That prompted Ms Ng to file a police report in which she called the article "pure fiction".

"I did not write this article and have nothing to do with it," she told The Straits Times. "Sad that the website allows the publication of such malicious forgeries in the name of an elected MP to deceive and mislead its readers."

Nov 2012: TRS posted an article claiming that Minister of Defence Ng Eng Hen had not delivered on a promise made in 2011 to publish a list of full-time national servicemen who were given permission to defer their national service for their university studies. The article was defamatory.

Although TRS posted an apology after it was sent lawyers' letters, it then posted additional comments on the matter and allowed users to post comments on the page.

The list was actually available on the Mindef website and is still there.