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Facebook releases report on fight against disinformation in run-up to Taiwan elections

Social media giant worked with government, fact-check units to counter false information

  2022
(Facebook report image)

(Facebook report image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Facebook published a report Tuesday (Oct. 6) on its role in debunking disinformation during the 2020 presidential election in Taiwan, the first report of its kind and one that serves to provide insights into how democratic institutions are evolving.

According to the report, Facebook teamed up with government agencies and civic groups to safeguard electoral integrity for the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 11. The effort mobilized around 40 internal teams from the social media giant.

In collaboration with Taiwan FactCheck Center, Facebook held an event between Dec. 18 and Jan. 15 about ways to improve media literacy, which reached 7.3 million users in Taiwan. The company also took action to drastically cut the reach of posts deemed to contain false information by 80 percent, said CNA.

Describing Taiwan as a “model of democracy in Asia,” Facebook revealed that multiple challenges arose in the country’s endeavor to host fair elections. Misinformation and external interference were some of the threats undermining the country’s democratic development.

Facebook pointed out there are challenges ahead for Taiwan to create a more effective mechanism for supervising political advertisements. Prevention of information maneuvering that has the potential to jeopardize democratic procedures is a focus of cooperation with local communities, the company said in the report.

On Jan. 1, the social media giant launched a “war room” in Taiwan for the first time to fight disinformation as the country geared up for the Jan. 11 elections. The task force involved a headquarters in Taipei and support from its offices in Ireland, the U.S., and Singapore.