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AndreaVenzon AndreaVenzon  •  2023-01-23  •    3 comments  • 

I am opening this debate tab to recap the outcome of the first consultations event we hosted in Taipei, and bring the conversation forward!

The event was themed around the topic of “Disinformation”, as our local volunteers and partners immediately recognised malicious disinformation campaigns as one of the key threat a global democratic governance would be facing. In fact, Taiwan’s democracy is constantly under threat from disinformation campaigns waged by China, attempting to influence and distort the public debate within the island. Assuming that a global democratic governance would either A) have external opponents, like authoritarian states that did/could not join the club, and/or B) internal threat from groups interested in tearing the institution apart, the risk deriving from disinformation is grand.

Below, you can find the event recap we published on our website - please let us know what you think!


On January 10th, 2023, we held the first local consultations in Taipei 🇹🇼 on what global democracy could look like. And it was amazing, with great panelists and about 45 participants.

✊ What?  

We discussed what the world can learn from Taiwan's innovative democratic model & its use of modern technologies to enhance participation! Given Chinese territorial claims, particularly at the height of election cycles, Taiwan faces waves of disinformation from China. We brainstormed on the strategies that Taiwan has taken to adapt to this challenge, as well as what other countries can learn from it.

🧐 Why?

This event opens a series of consultations across the globe to crowdsource what a democratic system of global governance should look like.

📝 Format:

The event started with a panel discussion, followed by group discussions!


🖋️ Takeaways:

Here are some of the points that came out during the discussion. Feel free to send us more ⤵️

  • Sources of disinformation in Taiwan come mainly from China, especially targeted at human rights, military & China topics. You see a lot of it in statements such as “democracy is useful, you don’t need it”. 

  • Language skills are important in fighting disinformation: if it’s in a foreign language you won’t notice mistakes. Localization: disinformation is getting better at this. They recruit local people to use the right words and input local culture. 

  • Strategies to fight disinformation: 

    • Skill learning 

    • Civil society to debunk it 

    • Key for debunking strategies to be accessible and easy to the public 

    • Stigmatizing people who have fallen for disinformation doesn’t help. Need to humanize it. There is a need to understand where people come from and control our reactions to it. 

    • Important to recognize the uphill battle that fighting disinformation is. Debunking spreads less than fake news. 

    • More democracy means less disinformation: the more engaged citizens are the more they can trust institutions, the less likely they are to fall for disinformation

  • There’s a fine line between fighting dis/misinformation and curtailing freedom of expression. Intent to harm/advance an agenda could be criteria to draw that line

  • Societies with growing inequalities and declining prosperity are more prone to d/misinformation - when people are doing well there’s less of it. 

You can find some pictures of the event here: https://www.atlasmovement.org/taipeiconsultations1


Comments (3)

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  • Colombe
    Colombe  •  Official position 1  •  2023-01-24 03:50:37

    Thanks for the recap. I really believe that it's fundamental to ensure greater level of trust in institutions to fight disinformation, and for this we need greater democratic practices!

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    • Nancy Huffine

      Mis/disinformation is a huge issue. I admire anyone who can live in the midst of a propaganda nation and not fall prey at some point to false news/views. Pushing the limits of Freedom of Speech is fine in the area of opinion and personal observation, but not under the guise of news and official positions. The quick churn of the news cycle heightens the ability to pass a thin truth off as a full story - not enough is contained in many news items to discern accuracy and slant. A return to unbiased, trusted presentation of news and information, and a rejection of "sizzle" to sell news in favor of stories of substance would keep the simple lies at bay. The ability of citizens to refrain from engaging with inciteful information as entertainment requires a civic maturity not often on display.

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      • Nancy Huffine

        People educated in civil engagement, truth in reporting, and depth of thought would be better able to avoid the mis/disinformation trap.

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