Fakenews Cleaner leads media literacy workshops aimed at alerting
Taiwanese to the dangers of misinformation [Courtesy of Fakenews Cleaner]

'' Fake News Cleaner '' : Many Taiwanese have developed internal ''warning bells'' for suspicious narratives, said Melody Hsieh, who co-founded Fake News Cleaner, a group focused on information literacy of education.

Her group has 22 lecturers and 160 volunteers teaching anti-disinformation tactics at universities, temples, fishing villages and elsewhere in Taiwan, sometimes using gifts like handmade soap to motivate participants.

The group is part of a robust collective of similar Taiwanese operations.There is Cofacts, whose fact-checking service is integrated with a popular social media app called Line.

THE TOOLMAKERS of the knowledge economy are just so determined to embrace the innovation frenzy. Microsoft has announced a string of product updates that allow desk jockeys to offload many, many tasks.

'' Like working in dog years'', is how Eric Boyd, head of AI for the tech giant's cloud-computing division, describes the company's hectic release schedule.

Google, a rival, is likewise souping up its suite of tools, as are Adobe, Salesforce and Bloomberg, makers of software for creative types, salesmen and financial whizzes, respectively.

Startups like Harvey, a ChatGPT-like legal assistant, Jasper a writing aid are emerging thick and fast.

WORLD LEADERS now consider disinformation to be the biggest threat to democracies around the world and also to the global economy.

Misinformation and disinformation on the Internet has already been posing problems for the past several years, being used by fascists and the tin-pot dictators in the East and West alike, but such propaganda has proliferated ever since deepfakes and other AI-based content started becoming easier to produce.

It started with crude videos meant to poke fun at world leaders, but has now gotten to the point where politicians are having deepfakes made of themselves made to appeal to certain voting groups.

A common one involves politicians speaking in languages that may increase their appeal to certain voters, such as Arabic to appeal to Muslims.

DISINFORMATION is a serious threat to democratic elections, especially when spread through social media and other online platforms.

It can distort public opinion, undermine trust in democratic institutions, and even affect election outcomes.

Disinformation speads like wildfire, and fact checkers face an uphill task of setting the record straight.

Since fair elections depend on informed voters, disinformation corrupts the democratic process.

Former US president Donald Trump is perhaps the most famous purveyor of political disinformation in the world, but so are the other many contenders the world over, including PM Narendra Modi, BJP, and several social media activists attached to various political parties and power players.

The popularity and success of their false narrative illustrates the urgent need to combat disinformation.

Although government and social media companies and political parties all share some responsibility to increase transparency and accountability in online advertising and political messaging, citizens must also be made more aware through interventions that promote digital literacy and critical thinking skills.

The Essay Subject continues into the future. The World Students Society thanks The Economist, The New York Times, and the editorial staff of The Express Tribune.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!