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Taiwan Is Beating Political Disinformation. The West Can Too.

Foreign Policy – “…Taiwan takes a whole-of-society approach to fighting disinformation. Its civic technology community works with social media companies, like the island’s popular messaging service Line, to identify, debunk, and downrank viral conspiracy theories on social media platforms. When someone comes across a news story that sounds fishy, they can send it to the popular chatbot Cofacts, where teams of volunteers then rapidly research the claim to determine its validity. The independent Taiwan FactCheck Center maintains an online repository of disproven conspiracy theories. Taiwan also shows that the best defense comes from a solid offense. Rather than simply play whack-a-mole by disproving every new fake fact, the government creates new conversations by organizing public debates about issues via the citizen-run vTaiwan platform. Instead of promoting hysteria to sell more ads, vTaiwan’s algorithms highlight where there is consensus in a debate and minimize the voices at the most extreme ends. Media literacy trucks go to rural areas to educate people how to spot fake news. And with China keen to cause divides in Taiwan, local groups that knowingly receive foreign money to spread disinformation about elections can face fines, and their leaders can go to jail…”

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