A conspiracy from Chinese netizens seeking to undermine national unity?
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Taipei (Taiwan News) – Fake news stories have not only run amok in the United States and left a huge
impact on its November elections but have also gone wild in Taiwan, vexing the Tsai administration, which sees them as a conspiracy from Chinese netizens seeking to undermine national unity.
Late last year, fake news stories began circulating through Line and other social networking apps. The first batch of apparent fake news stories concerned radiation-tainted foods from Fukushima, later in December, an image surfaced of a Chinese military aircraft supposedly caught on camera flying alarmingly close to Taiwan.
An article titled “See How the U.S. FDA Handles Foods from Fukushima” spread rapidly through the Internet and social networking and chat groups, claiming that the U.S. FDA was able to detain any food products exported from 14 areas of Japan with no need to justify inspection, but the truth is that the U.S. was only rejecting the imports of food products which are also banned in Japan. A food safety official discovered that the fake news came from China, which first appeared in 2015 but made a comeback in 2016. [FULL STORY]