Zoe Tay alleged retirement (2018)

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Origins of online hoax[edit | edit source]

Screengrab of the article alleging Zoe Tay's retirement. Photo from Goodyfeed.

In December 2018, a fake news website published an article alleging that veteran Mediacorp actress Zoe Tay was retiring from acting to run a skincare business. According to a report by 8 DAYS, the website claimed to have interviewed Zoe Tay with regards to her alleged decision to retire. She was allegedly quoted that the skincare business was “the project she was most proud of”.[1]

Confirmation of fake news[edit | edit source]

Mediacorp and Zoe Tay[edit | edit source]

On 20 December 2018, Zoe Tay posted a photo on Instagram of her on holiday in Japan (Instagram post). In her caption to the photo, she assured her fans that she was not retiring. She included hashtags in Mandarin that translated to “#WhoCreatedThisFakeNews #I’mOnVacation #PleaseDon’tFallForIt #Don’tBeFooled” in English.[2]


The next day, CNA Lifestyle reported that Mediacorp had released a statement confirming that Zoe Tay did not have any plans to retire.[3] At the time, it was also reported that Mediacorp would be filing a police report on Zoe Tay’s behalf and had requested Facebook and Instagram to remove any fake sponsored posts announcing Zoe Tay’s alleged retirement.[4]


In an effort to further assure her supporters, Zoe Tay explained that the news of her retirement was “completely fabricated” and that she was looking forward to her “next project” upon her return to Singapore from her family holiday.[5] She also reminded the public to be discerning when reading information online and to cross-check the information with credible sources when necessary.[6]

Fake news website[edit | edit source]

Apart from Fann Wong's story, the website had fake celebrity endorsements of the product, an anti-ageing cream supposedly from the brand Auvela.[7] The well-known actresses who allegedly reviewed the products included Fann Wong, Jeanette Aw, Michelle Saram, Michelle Chia and Priscelia Chan.[8] In the alleged testimonial for Singaporean television actress and host Priscelia Chan, the website had mistakenly used a picture of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and her younger sister Pippa Middleton as her profile image.[9] The fake news website has since been taken down.

References / Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. Fam, Jonathan. “Zoe Tay Is Not Retiring Despite What Fake News Website Claims”. 8days. December 21, 2018. Accessed on 3 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.8days.sg/sceneandheard/entertainment/zoe-tay-is-not-retiring-despite-what-fake-news-website-claims-11053380
  2. Lee, Wei Lin. “Zoe Tay gets candid about past malicious rumours”. Toggle. January 9, 2019. Accessed on 3 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://entertainment.toggle.sg/en/entertainment/localbuzz/article/zoe-tay-gets-candid-about-past-malicious-rumours-11101260
  3. “She's not going anywhere: 'Zoe Tay’s retirement' is fake news, says Mediacorp”. Channel NewsAsia Lifestyle. December 21, 2019. Accessed on 3 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/trending/zoe-tay-retiring-retirement-is-fake-news-not-true-says-mediacorp-11052924
  4. “She's not going anywhere: 'Zoe Tay’s retirement' is fake news, says Mediacorp”. CNA Lifestyle. December 21, 2019. Accessed on 3 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/trending/zoe-tay-retiring-retirement-is-fake-news-not-true-says-mediacorp-11052924
  5. Fam, Jonathan. "Zoe Tay Is Not Retiring Despite What Fake News Website Claims". TODAY. December 21, 2018. Accessed on 16 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.todayonline.com/8days/sceneandheard/entertainment/zoe-tay-not-retiring-despite-what-fake-news-website-claims
  6. Fam, Jonathan. "Zoe Tay Is Not Retiring Despite What Fake News Website Claims". TODAY. December 21, 2018. Accessed on 16 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.todayonline.com/8days/sceneandheard/entertainment/zoe-tay-not-retiring-despite-what-fake-news-website-claims
  7. Fam, Jonathan. “Zoe Tay Is Not Retiring Despite What Fake News Website Claims”. 8days. December 21, 2018. Accessed on 3 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.8days.sg/sceneandheard/entertainment/zoe-tay-is-not-retiring-despite-what-fake-news-website-claims-11053380
  8. Fam, Jonathan. “Zoe Tay Is Not Retiring Despite What Fake News Website Claims”. 8days. December 21, 2018. Accessed on 3 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.8days.sg/sceneandheard/entertainment/zoe-tay-is-not-retiring-despite-what-fake-news-website-claims-11053380
  9. Fam, Jonathan. “Zoe Tay Is Not Retiring Despite What Fake News Website Claims”. 8days. December 21, 2018. Accessed on 3 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.8days.sg/sceneandheard/entertainment/zoe-tay-is-not-retiring-despite-what-fake-news-website-claims-11053380