Thu, Jul 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet to issue rules on responding to false reports

By Wang Kuan-jen and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Executive Yuan is to require government agencies to respond to false news reports with concise and illustrated social media posts governed by the so-called “two-two-two principle,” a source said.

The Cabinet’s guidelines for remedial posts to counter misinformation call for a headline of fewer than 20 characters, body text of fewer than 200 characters and two pictures, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Such responses should be issued within an hour of the original post, while the National Police Agency is to require subordinate units to respond within 30 minutes, the source said, adding that brevity is particularly important.

Last month, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka told the media that officials were working on improving the conciseness and readability of the government’s posts on social media as part of its efforts to combat misinformation.

Following a powerful earthquake on April 18, a story circulated online claiming that deep cracks had developed on Songren Road in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義). Firefighters were dispatched to the area, only to find that the purported cracks were potholes that had been filled with a darker material.

The creator of the story has been identified by police.

A Taipei City Government employee said on condition of anonymity that government officials are not used to reacting to misinformation, adding that even when corrections are issued, they usually come days later and are unhelpfully verbose.

The Executive Yuan’s new guidelines would be a step in the right direction for clear communication, the city worker said.

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