Taiwan Is Leading the Way in Tackling Fake News
Nicola Smith / Taipei Apr 07, 2017
is to roll out a new school curriculum to teach children how to
identify and combat fake news, becoming an Asian pioneer in countering a
rising global threat to free speech and democracy.
curriculum, expected to launch in the next school year, will include
“media literacy,“ according to Digital Minister Audrey Tang, to help
students develop critical thinking when using social media.
will include deciphering propaganda and sources of information. “[It’s]
basic journalism training and how this changes or does not change in
the information society,” says Tang in an interview with TIME.
In December, the public was alarmed when a picture emerged
on the Chinese air force’s Weibo microblog, appearing to show a PLAAF
H-6K bomber flying close to peaks later identified by Chinese media as
Taiwan’s Jade Mountain. Denials by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry were
drowned out by the clamor from the Taiwanese and U.S. media to link the
apparent sighting to a protocol-breaking telephone call between Tsai and U.S. President Donald Trump that had angered Beijing.Tang
is less convinced than many in Taiwan that disinformation is
“remote-controlled” by Beijing, but she does believe that children need
to be taught skills “to identify a legitimate website versus a fake
domain” in order to spot misleading fabrication.