Sat, Jun 22, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Social media firms vow to fight misinformation

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Representatives from five major Internet platforms and the Taipei Computer Association hold placards showing their companies’ logos and names at a news conference against fake news and misinformation in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chien-ying, Taipei Times

Facebook, Line, Yahoo-Kimo (雅虎奇摩) and Google, as well as the Professional Technology Temple online academic bulleting board and the Taipei Computer Association, yesterday ramped up their efforts to combat misinformation ahead of the elections in January next year.

In a joint statement, the social media platforms said that they have voluntarily signed a self-discipline pledge to intensify efforts to crack down on fake accounts and to contain the spread of misinformation.

The announcement came as social media platforms and online companies have faced a backlash from lawmakers worldwide for what many have perceived as insufficient efforts to contain the spread of misinformation in election campaigns.

Facebook has been allocating resources to technologies and personnel to detect false news and reduce online misinformation, company official Chen I-Ju (陳奕儒) said in the joint statement.

The company has been promoting news literacy among the public, Chen said.

Google said that it has arranged a series of activities over the past years to combat online misinformation, with the aim of increasing news literacy and promoting online security among the public, as well as boosting the company’s fact-checking efforts.

Yahoo-Kimo said that it has collected more than 2,200 high-quality articles from about 200 news outlets to provide diverse viewpoints, adding that it has worked with partners to improve fact-checking efforts.

A report released through V-Dem’s Digital Society Project found that Taiwan has been exposed to misleading viewpoints or misinformation disseminated by foreign governments and their agents more often than any other nation, Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said in the statement.

The government would work with the private sector to fight misinformation, Lo said.

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