Taiwan was last year the most targeted country by foreign governments spreading false information for the ninth consecutive year, a study released this month showed.
The nation was followed by Latvia and Palestine as a target for false information spread by foreign governments, the Sweden-based Varieties of Democracy Institute-affiliated Digital Society Project reported in its latest report.
The governments of Turkmenistan, North Korea and Myanmar were the world’s most significant spreaders of false information, while China and Russia were ranked sixth and 12th respectively, the study showed.
The volume of disinformation being circulated has multiplied with “fake news” increasingly becoming a tool of autocratic states for manipulating public opinion at home and abroad, it said.
False information has contributed to the polarization of public opinion, with the Middle East, North Africa and Asia Pacific being the regions most affected by false information, it said.
Autocracies fell further behind democracies in informational transparency and reliability after making widespread use of false data about economic growth and COVID-19 in a bid to burnish their international and domestic image, it said.
Autocracies have also clamped down on Internet freedoms to control public access to information, making their societies more reliant on government sources than before, it added.
Although false information being spread by foreign sources in Taiwan can be identified, their exact origin is not known, said Wang Yi-ting (王奕婷), one of the study’s researchers and an associate professor of political science at National Cheng Kung University.
China is one of the countries known to make extensive use of internal and external propaganda, she added.
Chen Chih-wei (陳志瑋), an associate professor of public administration at Tamkang University, yesterday said that combating disinformation is increasingly becoming an important issue for public health, safety and national security.
The government should treat the spread of false information surrounding the war in Ukraine as an opportunity to educate people on fact-checking the stories they read, he said.
Additionally, enhancing ties among law enforcement, national security and private groups such as the Taiwan FactCheck Center can help in identifying false information sources and mitigating harm, he said.
Tseng Kuan-chiu (曾冠球), a professor of civic education and leadership at National Taiwan Normal University, said that most people are likely uninterested in reading fact-checker sites.
Significant resources would have to be devoted to cultivating news and digital literacy through public education to “inoculate” people against fake news, he added.
Japanese lawmakers have been refraining from visiting China for fear of being arrested and not being able to return, while Taiwan is a popular destination, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported. As 120 Japanese Diet members visited Taiwan last year and fewer than 10 went to China, Beijing hopes that they could visit China more often, Japanese Ambassador to China Kenji Kanasugi was cited as saying during a meeting of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday last week. Kanasugi was in Japan to attend the Conference of the Ambassadors to Asian and Oceanian Countries and International Organizations, which was held on Thursday and Friday
A Singaporean social media streamer who goes by the pseudonym Kiaraakitty faked an egg attack by an alleged passerby during a livestream in Kaohsiung on Feb. 9, the city’s police department said on Saturday. The department was responding to the streamer’s claim earlier this month that a stranger had thrown eggs at her during a recent visit to Kaohsiung. Kiaraakitty is known for posting provocative content on livestreaming sites such as Twitch and Discord, as well as other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. She also posts on paid adult content Web site OnlyFans. In the video dated Feb. 9,
INVASION: A UK based think tank said in a report published on Friday that Russia-China 5G collaboration could be applied in the event of a Taiwan contingency Russian-Chinese collaboration on 5G and satellite technologies could give Russia an advantage on the battlefield in Ukraine and could feasibly be applied in other theaters, including a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, a report by the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security (RUSI) published on Friday said. Russia and China have already tested the use of shared 5G technology to control uncrewed dump trucks at a Russian mine, and have tested the integration of their respective navigation systems, Russia’s GLONASS and China’s BeiDou, the report said. “In Ukraine, GLONASS has already enabled Russian missile and drone strikes via satellite correction
HOT TOPIC: The Taiwan-born founder of a restaurant in the Japanese city is generally credited with creating the super spicy dish, which was originally intended as a staff meal For Taiwanese, ramen is one of the dishes that most represents Japan; for Japanese, its origins are in China. Then there is “Taiwan ramen,” which can only be found in Japan, but not in Taiwan. It is almost impossible to reach a consensus on the origin of any dish, but a brief look at its history might be helpful. Not many people who are not Japanese question whether ramen is really Japanese. Yet think about it — ramen is often unctuous and rich, unlike most other must-try Japanese foods familiar to foreign visitors to the country, such as sushi and soba noodles. According