Fri, May 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet launches anti-fake news site

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Executive Yuan yesterday launched an online “news clarification bulletin” to curb the spread of misleading or fake news on the Internet.

Fabricated or distorted news about the government have become rife and these rumors often go into wide circulation after they are spread by people with certain agenda on social media and instant messaging software, Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) quoted Premier William Lai (賴清德) as saying.

Compared with clarifying occasional misreporting by mainstream media outlets, it is much more challenging for the Executive Yuan to track down and clarify each piece of fake news on the Internet, which is usually “greatly exaggerated” after it is picked up by major news outlets, Lai was quoted as saying..

This is a challenge that must not be taken lightly, as it could lower the quality of discussions about government policies and could even cause panic, the premier added.

It is the government’s responsibility to present the public with timely and accurate information about its work, as well as to establish a credible and dependable source of information, Lai said.

The premier said that he had appointed Hsu to oversee work to create and operate the news clarification bulletin, whose operational rules were formulated by the Executive Yuan’s Department of Information Services.

Asked whether the Cabinet would proactively seek out fake news on social media sites, Hsu said no government agency has the capacity to track down each piece of fake news on social media.

The Executive Yuan plans to target fake news that has gained considerable influence — for example that which has been spread by politicians, Hsu said.

The bulletin went live yesterday afternoon, one day ahead of schedule.

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