How Taiwan is dealing with disinformation on Social Media


Corona virus and disinformation are two of the big challenges that have demanded the world's attention in two thousand twenty in the last days of the year. The news about vaccines for covid. Nineteen seems fairly positive. Even though that news of course needs to be fact checked as well but it may be that. Fighting mass-scale disease is in fact more feasible than fighting mass-scale disinformation but foreign policy magazine has drawn attention to some innov- it's to tackle this information in taiwan including a collaborative fact checking bought created as part of a public private partnership between the taiwanese government and the owners of taiwan's most popular messaging app. Which is called line. Indeed the authors lang and do lay say that in american tech circles. Taiwan has become a model for the fight against disinformation laying a former social media manager and speechwriter for taiwanese president side on when and do on is a national security advisor to the institute for security and technology as well as being an adjunct professor of politics at the university of san francisco. And i'm very pleased to say that. They both join us now on sunday. Extra welcome libby and doer. Thank you for her. It's great to have you. Can i start by just asking you to give us a brief outline libby of what that app line is and why this information on the line out has been a particular concern so in taiwan line is essentially the messaging app more than ninety percent of the population has the app on their phone. It integrates a news platform. It has closed chat groups You can read comics on it really like anything you can think to do on tech app you can probably find a way to do online and i suppose the this information element is particularly important because while we often focus on things like facebook and twitter. It's the private messaging where a lot of this material is distributed. Does that ring true to you. Do one yeah. Domains of new innovation of this digital accountability. Project is that it embodies or would call Distributed of dictation and do is think about the volume of information we face on a daily basis in the information environment right. The volume is so massive we cannot to professional fact checking trying to balk. Wet the rising volume office information and to me. The most innovative side of the story is that let the users have access to fact checking as well as built a database of corrected information so people can easily access such information in a very distributed manner and to me like this kind of distributed authentication is only possible through recall public and private partnership because the skill is only possible when both sides of this equation or together tech companies have tried to solve this problem but essentially they don't have the right incentive structures to do it as long as they have no pr issues and to me. I think that's the main thing. No innovation that the taiwanese government was to crack the code on. Indonesia is also another example but few governments they may talk about triple. Ps but very few governments have been able to crack the code on it. We tend to look at the shiny object right. This bought fact checking infrastructure right but behind that invasion. I think there was a lot of like we. Wholesome political leadership absolutely and there are some really interesting things to explore there. There's the technology but then also the human interaction which you've rightly pointed to do on and the fact that it's done as as a public private partnership as well so let's let's dig into all of those three aspects. Starting paps with the technology libby laying line has a fact checker and fact. Checking is a concept. I think everyone's familiar with these days. But we tend to think of a sort of separate major organizational or unit that does sort of human research and publishes its results whereas online the line fact checker is what you've called collaborative fact checking bought which sounds very impressive. What it means. What is a collaborative fact checking bought. How does the line fact check work. So the basic concept is that this line bought anyone can add it as a friend and once you have it as a friend you can copy and paste any link to a news article or perhaps a paragraph that contains information. You're not quite sure about. And you can send this message to the bought. And then once the bought receives the message. It runs the content that you sent it against the existing database of fact checked information that it has and it kind of spits backout evaluation to you about whether the information is false whether it needs more information to be sure and it also provides related links. Like if you're asking a question about a certain topic and this has been fact checked before they might show you. Oh you might be interested in this factual story right and it's doing all that using in an automated way and the reason that it's collaborative in understanding this that it it's actually pulling more than one fact checking source together. Yes so it's actually with line and then it's with some different third party fact checking platforms As well as taiwanese government so it's cooling essentially these public and private resources together and then making this single that keeps all this information in one place

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