China accused of stepping up disinformation war on Taiwan
Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice has accused China of mobilizing an army of trolls to spread fake news and manipulate public opinion on the island. Ministry investigators reportedly found “unequivocal evidence” of Chinese campaigns targeting the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the President. In once named instance, a viral video about the Chinese military’s plans to “reclaim Taiwan by 2020” was traced back to the Communist Party’s propaganda department. The ministry warned that these activities may succeed in having “an immense effect on Taiwan’s politics and elections,” with a cybersecurity expert arguing that “many of the stories bear the Chinese government’s hallmark of propaganda or brainwashing.” Often using real events and quotes out of context, Social media platforms are unable to make a clear distinction between these kind of “fake news” or propaganda stories and legitimate content, preventing simple solutions to the problem.