Taiwan election misinformation floods social media

Taiwan Central Election Committee investigates attempts to interfere in Jan. 11 polling

CEC urges voters to be careful about online misinformation. (CEC photo)

CEC urges voters to be careful about online misinformation. (CEC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Central Election Committee (CEC) said at a press briefing on Wednesday (Jan. 8) there has been an increase in fake information on the internet about Saturday's (Jan. 11) presidential and legislative elections.

The permanent statutory agency said it has received 128 reports of online misinformation, including some targeting the CEC for manipulating election results. Some false rumors also claimed that Taiwanese with older IDs are ineligible to vote and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates have fabricated their educational backgrounds, reported New Talk.

CEC Vice Chairman Chen Chao-chien (陳朝建) warned voters to be cautious about campaign messages and said the three major negative influences are bribery, illegal gambling, and inaccurate information. He added that anyone who attempts to interfere with the election process by creating or sharing misleading online posts will be investigated, reported Liberty Times.

Chen said the CEC has noticed more false information this year than in the past, despite not having data for comparison. He added that spreading inaccurate facts about the Taiwan elections could result in fines of NT$3,000 (US$100) or more.