If the rest of the world is struggling to handle political disinformation, Taiwan may hold the key, write Jacob McHangama and Jonas Parello-Plesner in The American Interest. Flooded with interference suspected to originate from China, Taiwan’s Internet is guarded, in part, by Digital Minister Audrey Tang, who has adopted a strategy of “radical transparency”: trusting citizens, partnering with civil-society groups, and mobilizing an “anti-troll army” to fight disinformation as it unfolds. It’s an alternative, they write, to the heavier-handed approach of taking down content, instituting stricter laws, and limiting speech.
In Tang’s theory, the authors write, “immunizing democracies against disinformation from below requires trusting citizens and civil society rather than viewing them as a fickle mob … In short, when it comes to countering disinformation, citizens of democracies should be treated as a resource, not a liability.” So far, this “beta version” of Taiwan’s disinformation resistance is an attempt to “reverse-engineer” what troll armies do—and it seems to be working.
Read the full piece here.