Taiwan FactCheck Center is a leading fact-checking organization in Taiwan. Founded by Taiwan Media Watch and the Association for Quality Journalism, the Center does fact-checking with the objective of improving the information ecology and news quality of Taiwan. Meedan’s Check Global program is honored to have Taiwan FactCheck Center as a partner. We have worked with the organization on different projects over the past two years, which includes a media literacy program for senior citizens, college students and TFC’s collaboration with the VeraFiles, an independent fact-checking group in the Philippines, in promoting VeraFiles’ fact-checking ChatBot to the Filipino community in Taiwan.
In this blogpost we bring insights from Summer Chen, Editor in Chief at Taiwan FactCheck Center on the team’s various efforts to combat mis-disinformation in the country. Summer in a message to fellow fact-checkers and TFC’s readers drives a point that the international fact-checking day is not just of fact-checkers, but is a day to celebrate facts and truth and honor everyone who is part of the battle against misinformation.
Summer Chen, Editor in Chief at Taiwan FactCheck Center:
Since its launch in 2018, Taiwan FactCheck Center (TFC) has been committed to producing high-quality fact-checks in the fight against misinformation, as well as to spreading media literacy.
To do that, we share the concept of fact-checking, our methodology, and verification skills and tools with media practitioners who are behind one of the most critical news sources in society. Every year we conduct media literacy training for journalists and we also train students, teachers, and passionate people from different communities.
Defending democracy and extending media literacy to more vulnerable sections of society
It is noteworthy that we take multiple approaches to broaden our reach. We constantly have workshops in universities across Taiwan to sow seeds of fact-checking among the youth. We also aim at senior citizens who are relatively more vulnerable to online misinformation by partnering with digital instructors who specialize in training elderly population. With the feedback from these experienced instructors, we are able to make our teaching materials and methods more fun and digestible.
At TFC we build a front line along with the civil society to combat mis- and disinformation. By empowering the public to fact-check information, we are able to defend the integrity of the democracy and protect it from harm caused by disinformation. Whenever we have a debate or discussion over public policy or agenda, we often see disinformation spread with the intent to mislead the discussion or distract people’s attention. We can only have meaningful discussions and rational decisions when we have access to factual information. That is the core of democracy.
Scaling up fact-checking using technology, AI and collaboration
We have teamed up with Taiwan Institute for Information Industry (III) who supports us to develop an AI filter tool, Rumor catcher. This tool allows us to collect and identify viral claims circulating online in real-time, speeding up as well as scaling our debunking work.
This year, we are working with VeraFiles, a fact-checking organization in the Philippines to introduce VeraFiles’ fact-checking ChatBot to the Filipino communities in Taiwan. At the moment we have had around 100 Filipinos in Taiwan who have joined VERA ChatBot on Viber. Through this collaboration, the Filipino communities in Taiwan who might be at a disadvantage in terms of access to reliable information can have better means to protect themselves from misinformation. We want to support the Filipino diaspora to receive reliable information on the latest in their homeland so they can make evidence-based decisions for the best of their country.
We have recently published this article (https://tfc-taiwan.org.tw/articles/7050) on one of the campaign events this February.
Message to fellow fact-checkers and TFC’s readers on International fact-checking day
On the international fact-checking day, my team from Taiwan FactCheck Center wants to share some words with our audience.
Fact-checking in Taiwan is contributed by groups of passionate people who are enthusiastic about the facts and truth. They actively flag claims to fact-checkers and share factual information with their family and friends; they learn about fact-checking with all their hearts. This tremendous amount of power and energy is the most valuable foundation against disinformation. So we think that fact-checking day doesn’t just belong to fact-checkers- it is also a day in honor of facts and a celebration for everyone.
- Online conversations are heavily influenced by news coverage, like the 2022 Supreme Court decision on abortion. The relationship is less clear between big breaking news and specific increases in online misinformation.
- The tweets analyzed were a random sample qualitatively coded as “misinformation” or “not misinformation” by two qualitative coders trained in public health and internet studies.
- This method used Twitter’s historical search API
- The peak was a significant outlier compared to days before it using Grubbs' test for outliers for Chemical Abortion (p<0.2 for the decision; p<0.003 for the leak) and Herbal Abortion (p<0.001 for the decision and leak).
- All our searches were case insensitive and could match substrings; so, “revers” matches “reverse”, “reversal”, etc.