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Author Topic: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)  (Read 9942 times)


Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2018, 11:17:12 AM »
Official Media Coverage

Select Committee to examine fake news threat in Singapore
http://www.straitstimes.com/politics/select-committee-to-examine-fake-news-threat

Parliament: MPs suggest various approaches to tackle fake news
http://www.straitstimes.com/politics/parliament-mps-and-nmps-suggest-various-approaches-to-tackle-fake-news

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2018, 11:23:04 AM »

Source: https://www.factcheck.org

Mission: "We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels."

Process: "At FactCheck.org, we follow a process when we select, research, write, edit and, if necessary, correct our articles.", https://www.factcheck.org/our-process

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 11:29:30 AM »
Facebook to Let Users Rank Credibility of News
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/19/technology/facebook-news-feed.html



20th Jan 2018: Original posting by Mark Zuckerberg:

"Continuing our focus for 2018 to make sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent...

Last week I announced a major change to encourage meaningful social interactions with family and friends over passive consumption. As a result, you'll see less public content, including news, video, and posts from brands. After this change, we expect news to make up roughly 4% of News Feed -- down from roughly 5% today. This is a big change, but news will always be a critical way for people to start conversations on important topics.
Today I'm sharing our second major update this year: to make sure the news you see, while less overall, is high quality. I've asked our product teams to make sure we prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local. And we're starting next week with trusted sources.
There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don't specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them. That's why it's important that News Feed promotes high quality news that helps build a sense of common ground.
The hard question we've struggled with is how to decide what news sources are broadly trusted in a world with so much division. We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that's not something we're comfortable with. We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem. Or we could ask you -- the community -- and have your feedback determine the ranking.
We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective.
Here's how this will work. As part of our ongoing quality surveys, we will now ask people whether they're familiar with a news source and, if so, whether they trust that source. The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don't follow them directly. (We eliminate from the sample those who aren't familiar with a source, so the output is a ratio of those who trust the source to those who are familiar with it.)
This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook. It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community.
My hope is that this update about trusted news and last week's update about meaningful interactions will help make time on Facebook time well spent: where we're strengthening our relationships, engaging in active conversations rather than passive consumption, and, when we read news, making sure it's from high quality and trusted sources."
Source: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104445245963251

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 07:34:15 AM »

(From left) The headline Mr Neo Aik Chau edited and the original headline.

Facebook user apologises for doctoring article on City Harvest verdict
Feb 07, 2018 | SEOW BEI YI

A man who uploaded a doctored newspaper report on Facebook, suggesting a lawyer -who is an MP from the People's Action Party (PAP) - saved the six people in the City Harvest Church case from harsher sentences, has apologised on social media.

Mr Neo Aik Chau, 38, a delivery driver, posted the apology on his Facebook page yesterday.

He also apologised in at least two other Facebook groups but not on the public page where he uploaded the doctored report.

Mr Neo's apologies came a day after the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) wrote to him about the false report.

Writing in Chinese on his Facebook page, Mr Neo said:"I swear not to post anything like this again. Please forgive me."

On Monday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said the AGC considers the Facebook post of the doctored article a case of contempt by scandalising the courts.

Originally posted on a public Facebook group whose name translates to "Policy discussion forum", Mr Neo's post was of Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao's Page 1 report with a false headline.

The original said an outdated law saved Kong Hee and five others from harsher penalties.

The false headline said a PAP lawyer saved them, referring to Mr Edwin Tong, an MP for Marine Parade GRC, who was Kong's lawyer in the criminal trial.

Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday that Mr Neo said he was "inspired" by coffee-shop chatter over the verdict.

"I'd only meant to put it on the Facebook group as a talking point, and did not have malicious intent. I didn't think it would be reposted," he said.

Lianhe Wanbao editor Goh Sin Teck said of the fake headline: "This is not creativity and is a type of behaviour with malicious intent, attempting to mislead the public. It should be condemned."

Sources:
1. http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/facebook-user-apologises-doctoring-article-city-harvest-verdict
2. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/agc-has-written-to-man-who-posted-fake-news-about-lawyer-who-9928278
3. http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/slw/headlinesnews/116055-agc-probing-doctored-news-on-facebook.html

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 07:25:09 PM »
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 09:38:49 PM by greentara »

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2018, 01:25:49 PM »

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2019, 11:51:23 PM »
Parliament: 'Curious' spike in online comments critical of S'pore during dispute with Malaysia, says Edwin Tong
Feb 12, 2019 | Adrian Lim

SINGAPORE - When the dispute with Malaysia over maritime and airspace issues late last year was top news, there was a "curious" spike in online comments critical of Singapore on social media, said Senior Minister of State for Law Edwin Tong.

These posts were made using what are “essentially” anonymous accounts, Mr Tong disclosed in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 12).

He also said that on the issue of traffic jams at land checkpoints, these "avatar accounts" with profile photos that do not show the user's face account for about 40 per cent of comments on alternative media's social media pages.

In citing the jams, he said it shows how foreign actors can interfere in Singapore's politics through online campaigns and false information.

But steps are being taken to update the laws later this year to counter such threats.

As for the case of the Singapore-KL dispute, he said: "We do not know who these suspicious accounts belong to. Nor do we know if they are being coordinated by foreign actors.

"But it is clear that these accounts have sought to give and create an artificial impression to netizens of the opposition to Singapore's position, at a time of heightened bilateral difficulties."

Mr Tong was replying to Ms Cheng Li Hui (Tampines GRC), who had asked if there had been instances of foreign interference in Singapore.

On last year's SingHealth hacking incident, Mr Tong said the cyber attackers - who are advanced and typically state-linked - wanted to extract the heath information of Singaporeans, particularly that of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

"Cyber hackings are often deployed in concert with hostile information campaigns to search for information that can be weaponised," he added.

Earlier, Mr Tong described to the House how foreign actors had interfered in the politics and elections in such countries as the United States, United Kingdom, France and the Ukraine.

“No country is immune. This is asymmetric information warfare, fought in a theatre and an era with no distinction between war and peace,” he said.

Mr Tong added: “In this battlefield, Singapore, an open, democratic, digitally-connected and diverse country, is especially vulnerable.

“We are a young country with sensitive fault-lines that foreign actors can exploit to foment distrust and ill-will among our various communities.”

Mr Tong said many countries he mentioned had learnt “hard lessons” and are taking actions to expose and counter foreign interference.

To ward off foreign interference in local politics and elections, Singapore is developing a strategy on two fronts.

The first is to sensitise Singaporeans to the threat and nurture a discerning public, he said. "We are our own first line of defence. We must learn to be sceptical of and be able to discern falsehoods or half-truths, and detect foreign actors and their attempts to interfere in our politics."

Second, the legal framework - which is "outmoded against modern and technologically-sophisticated tactics" - has to be updated and enhanced to counter hostile information campaigns.

Mr Tong said the new laws have two broad objectives.

One, to let the Government "act swiftly and effectively to disrupt and counter false, misleading and inauthentic information and narratives spread by foreign actors".

"We must also be able to preemptively expose clandestine foreign interference campaigns," he added.

Two, to prevent foreign actors from manipulating politically-involved individuals and organisations through the use of proxies, funding and donations, he said.

Mr Tong cited the case of Dr Huang Jing, a former professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, who was identified by the Government as an agent of influence acting on behalf of a foreign country. Dr Huang, who was stripped of his permanent residency status in 2017, sought to influence Singapore's foreign policy and public opinion here.

"We must not allow foreign actors to undermine our political sovereignty, nor our ability to make our own choices on how we want to govern our country, and live our lives," he said.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/parliament-curious-spike-in-online-comments-critical-of-spore-during-dispute-with-malaysia


Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2019, 09:25:29 AM »
A look at key changes to Protection from Harassment Act
By NEO RONG WEI | 07 May, 2019

SINGAPORE — Crucial changes to the Protection from Harassment Act (Poha) were passed in Parliament on Tuesday (May 7) to streamline procedures for victims of online bullying and harassment, and to tackle offences such as doxxing.

The changes set up a new court within the State Courts to simplify the court process for anyone seeking a court order to deal with online and other harassment — and to deliver more efficient and more effective relief.

KEY AMENDMENTS:

#1. Doxxing

Doxxing, the act of publishing information about a victim’s identity, will now be considered an offence if it matches at least one of the following criteria. The publication was:

    o Made with the intention to harass the victim
    o Made with the knowledge or intention to put the victim in fear of violence
    o Made with the knowledge or intention to provoke the use of violence against the victim.

Examples that do not constitute doxxing include:

    o Identifying the perpetrators of crimes, including traffic offences or Poha offences
    o Posting videos of public disputes to give a factual account of the incident

Why change it?

The current laws do not address this type of behaviour, as they require communications to be “threatening, abusive or insulting”. Doxxing attempts, like sending out emails, and divulging personal and identifiable information, may not meet this criterion under the previous provisions.

#2. Curbing the spread of online falsehoods

The amended law creates a new general correction order, which will enable victims to go to court to seek an order to require a third party such as a news outlet to publish a correction, if "serious harm" to one’s reputation was suffered due to the publication of a falsehood.

The new order joins four existing orders in Poha, which were enhanced to allow interim orders to be made, to curb the spread of false statements quickly. They are:

    o Stop publication orders: To stop the publication of false statements by individuals or entities
    o Correction orders: To require the publication of a corrected statement or draw attention to the falsity in the false statement
    o Disabling orders: To require the disabling of access to false statements circulated by an Internet intermediary
    o Targeted correction orders: Requiring the distribution of a correction of false statement to viewers on the Internet intermediary’s platform

​These orders can be made by the court if both the following criteria are satisfied:

    o The statement being complained of is false
    o It is just and equitable to seek the order

Protection will also extend to entities to ensure that companies and their staff do not suffer or lose their livelihoods as a result of falsehoods.

These provisions will deal only with false statements of fact such as misleading statements. This will not include criticism, opinions, satire and parody.

Why change it?

Just last week, false messages that targeted actor Lim Kay Tong and local football legend Fandi Ahmad were circulated. The amendments will make it easier and quicker for victims of falsehoods to seek recourse and counter false statements with the truth.

The general correction order taps the wide reach of third parties such as news outlets to correct viral falsehoods that have spread across different platforms.

#3. A new court

The new Protection from Harassment Court within the State Courts will oversee all criminal and civil cases, dealing with both online and offline harassment. Judges will be trained to deal with harassment-related matters as well.

The court process will be streamlined, with a simplified application form for protection orders (POs) at the new court, or it can be filed online. With the new court, these PO applications can be processed in a shorter time frame.

The court will aim to conduct hearings for expedited protection orders (EPOs) within 48 to 72 hours of an application being made. Where there is an element of violence or doxxing involved, the court will try to conduct hearings for EPOs within 24 hours of an application being made.

When granting an EPO, the judge will determine if a criminal investigation is warranted and refer the case to the police, to ensure that action will be taken against serious cases of hurt or harassment.

Victims need not prove their case more than once, as the amendments will help victims meet the burden of proof. Previously, victims who filed a Magistrate’s Complaint had to apply for a PO to enjoy protection and reproduce the evidence of the harassment in the process.

Why change it?

Simplifying and streamlining the court processes may relieve some of the anxieties faced by applicants and encourage those in need to come forward.

#4. Enhancing protection for harassment victims

The scope of POs will be expanded, and can now

    o Prevent the publication of similar harassing material that has been changed slightly by an offender and shared by others. Internet intermediaries can be ordered to disable access to offending communications — to stop the material going viral.
    o Protect people related to the victim such as family members
    o Protect against harassing or violent entities such as illegal debt collectors

The court will also be given more power when granting POs:

    The respondent can be ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment and undergo psychiatric treatment in a civil proceeding. Previously, this was possible only in a criminal proceeding

Other amendments that strengthen the law to help victims and increase deterrence include:

    o Domestic exclusion orders which allow victims to exclude a harasser from their shared residence, even if the harasser has ownership of it
    o Holding entities can be held liable for harassment behaviour by employees
    o Arrests will be made when the PO is breached — if hurt is caused, or persistent harassment continues despite the order
    o Penalties for offences against vulnerable persons or victims of intimate partner violence will be doubled
    o Maximum penalties for subsequent breaches of a PO will be doubled

Why change it?

The lack of severity in punishments is a factor that deters victims from applying for POs, which the amendments seek to address. The amendments also aim to deter potential harassers.

Source: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/look-key-amendments-protection-harassment-bill

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2019, 09:27:38 AM »

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2019, 09:35:28 AM »
Pelosi videos manipulated to make her appear drunk are being shared on social media:


Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2019, 02:45:03 PM »
How the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act Applies (from MinLaw)



Source (PDF): https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/content/dam/minlaw/corp/News/Press%20Release/POFMB/How_POFMA_Applies.pdf
Cache: https://tinyurl.com/howPOFMA

Offline greentara

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Re: Minlaw: Combating Online Falsehoods (aka Fake News)
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2019, 10:39:20 AM »
Hong Kong protests and ‘fake news’: in the psychological war for hearts and minds, disinformation becomes a weapon used by both sides
Linda Lew | 14 Oct, 2019

It’s hard for the public to know what to believe, as both camps present skewed versions of protest events. Illustration: Kaliz Lee

Masato Kajimoto is leading a University of Hong Kong (HKU) team scrutinising images, videos and any information from the ongoing anti-government protests, trying to tell which are real, misleading or fake.

It is hard work. In September alone, there were no fewer than 5,000 images shared in a single channel of Telegram, the messaging application used widely by protesters
for updates on demonstrations now in their fifth month.

It is almost impossible to verify the authenticity of every image, says Kajimoto, an assistant professor at the university’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre.
What is clear is that different camps in the ongoing unrest spread selective images and videos to sway public opinion, and disinformation is not only part of the game but a “psychological warfare” tool wielded by both sides.

“It is really hard to win somebody’s heart with just facts and accurate information,” he said. “You have to appeal to people’s emotions.”

And that can mean presenting an incomplete, misleading or false picture of what is happening on the ground.

Scholars say that, as the protests continue, the problem of disinformation is worsening. And, as Hongkongers consume media content that fails to present the whole truth, society is in danger of being polarised to such an extent that reconciliation between opposing sides will become even more difficult.
Flash mob protests, vandalism flare up across Hong Kong as police fire tear gas

To illustrate how each side can present the same incident in different ways and evoke strong, opposing reactions, Kajimoto referred to an incident at Sham Shui Po on October 6, when a taxi driver was beaten by a mob after his vehicle ran into a crowd and left a woman seriously injured.

The video clip shared extensively among social media groups supporting the protesters focused on the earlier part of the incident, when the taxi was seen moving into a crowd of black-clad demonstrators, sparking panic and screams.

It appeared to back the protesters’ claim that the cabby had deliberately driven into the protesters, intending to harm them.

However, pro-government groups shared a video clip of what happened afterwards, showing a mob smashing the taxi with rods and dragging the driver out, with graphic images of the 59-year-old cabby covered in blood.

I tell my students that unless you know exactly what happened from the beginning to the end, you cannot make any conclusion Masato Kajimoto, HKU assistant professor

The cabby’s association issued a statement condemning the assault, saying the driver lost control of his vehicle after protesters attacked it.

Kajimoto said such selective representation made it nearly impossible to form an objective opinion of the incident.

“I tell my students that unless you know exactly what happened from the beginning to the end, you cannot make any conclusion,” he said.

What to believe, who to trust?

Associate Professor Donna Chu, from the School of Journalism and Communication at Chinese University, said the spread of disinformation was a result of fundamental changes in the media environment and the development of information technology.

Sources of information have proliferated and in the protests, many get their updates and swap live news, pictures and video over social media sites and mobile applications such as Telegram, LIHKG, WhatsApp, Line and Facebook.

Banks implement staff contingency plans as protests rage

Disinformation was rampant and that meant people needed to be more vigilant about verifying the accuracy of the news they received, Chu said.

In a telephone poll commissioned by Hong Kong daily Ming Pao, 842 people rated on a scale of 0 to 10 the form of media they valued as an important source of news on the protests.

Media live streaming from the scene received the highest average score of 8.12, well above the 6.85 for traditional media and 6.01 for social media.

The director of Chinese University’s School of Journalism and Communication, Francis Lee Lap-fung, said in an opinion piece for the daily that live streaming, with its instant delivery, made audiences feel they were participating in history and its unedited nature gave the impression that it was free from editorial control and selection.

In a handbook on fact-checking to help journalism educators, trainers and students deal with the issue of “fake news”, the UN’s heritage body Unesco describes three categories of “untruths”.

Misinformation refers to false information that is not meant to cause harm; disinformation is blatantly false information created to cause harm to individuals or groups; and mal-information is information based on reality and used to harm a person or group.

Elderly protesters rally at police headquarters in support of alleged abuse victims

Disinformation campaigns can have serious consequences.

In the run-up to the 2016 United States presidential election, a “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory spread widely on social media, alleging that several restaurants and Democratic Party officials were involved in human trafficking and running child sex rings.

A man who believed the story went to a Washington pizza restaurant falsely accused of being involved and discharged his gun. The theory has been widely debunked.

It makes matters worse when people in powerful positions make use of disinformation.

Kajimoto pointed to US President Donald Trump, who has been criticised countless times for making statements that are misleading or outright untrue, even as he has been unrelenting in attacking the credibility of media outlets.

In Hong Kong, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor
and cabinet member Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun have both made claims based on unverified messages circulating online.

On Tuesday, Lam said protesters had set up roadblocks on highways and checked the identification documents of people in vehicles. She had no proof of the incident, but said it had been “circulated online recently and probably happened”.

Law was criticised for claiming last month that a 14-year-old girl had provided “free sex
” to protesters.

Asked for more information, she produced a message circulating on WhatsApp and claimed that “a cruise buddy” told her it was true.

Dr Fu King-wa, an associate professor at HKU’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre, said although Law was not the source of the claim, she lent credibility to unverified information.

“She is a public figure and because of her political power, by quoting misinformation, she introduced unfounded accusations to the public domain,” he said.

Chinese state media have also been accused of reporting disinformation related to the Hong Kong protests.

After Law made the news with her “free sex” remarks, state-backed tabloid Global Times posted a video of an unidentified 16-year-old girl claiming she was sexually assaulted by some protesters she befriended.

However, Hong Kong online users slammed the report, calling it fake. Comments left on a copy of the video hosted on YouTube said the Cantonese phrases used by the girl were not common in Hong Kong. They doubted if the girl was from the city at all.

Last month, Twitter suspended more than 200,000 mainland China-based accounts that formed a spam network, saying close to 1,000 of them were “deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong”.

Lies spread faster than facts

In Hong Kong, setting the facts straight on incidents involving police presents a special challenge because of plummeting trust in the force.

On August 31, for example, police and protesters clashed inside Prince Edward MTR station, leading to a number of injuries.

When the number of people hurt was revised, a rumour began circulating that police had beaten some protesters to death. Photos of bodies were shared online, along with the claim that these were people arrested on August 31.

Government officials, police, MTR Corporation and the fire service tried to explain multiple times that there were no deaths that day, but some anti-government protesters continue purveying the debunked rumour.

Protesters who began gathering outside Prince Edward station demanding “truth and justice” have continued to do so off and on until now.

Kajimoto said the incident and its aftermath showed how trust in the police had declined to such a level that a section of the public did not believe what the police force said any more.

“If somebody floats conspiracy theories on social media and you’re against the police, you believe that. Or you don’t care if it’s true or not,” he said.
Scramble to protect district council polls candidates from doxxing

In the Ming Pao poll, almost half of the respondents said they had zero trust in police, a dramatic fall since May and June, when only 4 per cent said they had no trust in the force.

Scholars said the disinformation related to the protests was unlikely to end because the ongoing crisis needed a political solution.

“False information is the tip of the iceberg,” Kajimoto said. “This is just a symptom and it’s not the cause of the problem. If we cannot cure the cause of the polarisation, this will never stop.”

In the meantime, Fu said, people needed to hone their media literacy skills and never forward unconfirmed information, as it could be false and have a significant impact on recipients.

“People might believe something not because of the information itself, but because it came from you,” he said.

Some social media users have started a fact-checking effort, reminding everyone to pause and ensure a piece of information is accurate before forwarding it to others.

A Facebook page called “Kauyim”, the Cantonese term for “verify”, has attracted more than 122,000 followers to its updates, debunking fake online posts relating to the protests.

Describing who they are and what they do, the Kauyim team of anonymous volunteers says in the introduction to the page: “We are fact-checkers and rumour-busters. Facts triumph over lies. Rumours are most afraid of the wise.”

People might believe something not because of the information itself, but because it came from you Fu King-wa, HKU associate professor

In existence since 2014, the group has not stated its political position and debunks both anti-government and pro-government disinformation.

The challenge with fact-checking, however, is that it takes time and effort to verify a piece of news, by which time the false information could already have gone viral.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who looked at Twitter data retrieved between 2006 and 2017 found that falsehoods travelled six times faster than truths.

As Kajimoto put it: “Fact-checked stories don’t really go viral.”

Additional reporting by Sum Lok-kei and Gigi Choy

Source: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/society/article/3032734/fake-news-and-hong-kong-protests-psychological-war-hearts










« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 10:41:08 AM by greentara »