Taiwan gets tough over fake news blamed on Beijing ‘disrupting its democracy’

South China Morning Post
Dater: 27 Jul, 2019
By: Lawrence Chung  

  • Over 100 prosecuted and tougher penalties planned after false stories such as claim Taiwanese government funded Hong Kong protests
  • Justice ministry investigating whether mainland is funding preferred candidates for January’s elections or giving orders to media outlets

Protesters hold placards saying “reject red media” and “safeguard the nation’s democracy” during a rally against pro-China media in Taipei last month. Photo: AFP

Taiwan is taking sweeping action against rampant disinformation and the so-called red media in a bid to curb what it views as Beijing’s efforts to influence the self-ruled island’s politics and the upcoming presidential election.

A 70-year-old woman in New Taipei City was fined NT$30,000 (US$960) last week for spreading fake information, becoming the latest of more than 110 people prosecuted under the island’s social order maintenance law since the authorities decided in December to take tougher action against disinformation.

It comes after hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese people took to the streets last month to protest against what they dubbed the “red media” – funded by Beijing – fearing the harm such misinformation could do to Taiwan’s stability.    [FULL  STORY]

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