Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), who is responsible for digital technology, on Tuesday said that the government is preparing to combat false news reports in the run-up to the presidential election in January next year.
The government is working on measures to crack down on false reports in a bid to prevent foreign-based forces from gaining leverage through propaganda campaigns or political advertisements, Tang told reporters.
The government is approaching the problem from three angles, she said.
First, false reports must be blocked once they are identified and the government must have a mechanism in place to quickly remove them, she said.
Second, in the event that such a report goes viral, the government must coordinate with major media platforms to minimize adverse effects and publish corrections, Tang said.
Third, if a report is proven to be false, those involved in its dissemination would be dealt with according to the law, she said.
In addition, amendments to the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) mean political donations must be made public and are only permitted from citizens of the Republic of China, Tang said.
In the wake of the local government elections in November last year, it was discovered that foreign-based forces used election campaigns and political advertisements to influence outcomes, she said.
To deal with this issue, two pieces of legislation are being reviewed at the Legislative Yuan that would stipulate that only Taiwanese can sponsor political commercials and all funding must be made public, she said.
Tang, who is in the US to exchange views on cybersecurity and false news reports with US authorities, gave keynote speeches at seminars sponsored by the Atlantic Council and the George Washington University, with the latter on Tuesday focused on shared values in bilateral relations and improving democracy through open governance.
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