Taiwan Fights Misinformation to Preserve Its Poll

As Taiwan held its presidential election on January 13, rumors of voter fraud started to circulate. A popular video shows an election official tallying ballots by inadvertently awarding a vote to the incorrect candidate. The video’s message was very clear: it was untrustworthy to accept the election results. There was no truth to the reports of voter fraud. Rather, they came about as a result of misinformation. Taiwanese fact-checking organizations swiftly demonstrated the falsehood of the video and numerous others that resembled it. MyGoPen is a fact-checking service based in Taiwan. It was discovered that a crucial detail had been altered out of the extensively circulated movie. The entire unedited video demonstrates how other election workers quickly fixed the official’s error once it was made.


Concerns that fake news reports would endanger it had been mounting prior to the election. However, Taiwan responded to misinformation quickly and systematically, with the government and fact-checking organizations attempting to lessen its spread. Taipei, Taiwan is home to the non-profit DoubleThink Lab. It claims that its analysis demonstrates that, prior to the election, China sent false information to Taiwan. Taiwan is part of China and shouldn’t be independent, according to the Chinese authorities. The goal of the misinformation, according to the Associated Press (AP), was to reduce support for Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). According to AP reporters, the misinformation attempted to portray the DPP as a potential war initiator with China.


The fabricated tales attacked American backing for Taiwan, claiming that the US would not back the island if it went to war with China and was only concerned about Taiwan’s semiconductor exports. On Saturday, AP reporters left notes at the Chinese embassy located in Washington. Those calls were not promptly returned by the embassy. In January, Lai Ching-te, the DPP candidate, emerged victorious. He overcame Hou Yu-ih of the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party. The island’s relationship with China is seen by many experts as being essential to the election. The Taiwan People’s Party candidate has a large youthful support base. On TikTok, they had extensively disseminated the fake videos. Following that, Facebook users shared the videos.

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