Political misinformation, hate speech, attacks on independent media, internet shutdowns, gender and health misinformation have been on the rise in the APAC region. While social media platforms, fact-checking efforts and civil society interventions are growing, there exists a huge digital divide in terms of availability of infrastructure for people to access credible information and a knowledge gap in accessing digital opportunities.
Political misinformation has posed a huge challenge to democratic processes and integrity of elections in the region. State-actors, media groups, and social media users have been responsible for spreading misinformation, thereby resulting in a lack of trust in the media.
Independent media and journalists in the region face the threat of being attacked with journalists and activists facing online threats. Freedom of media also faces obstacles in the form of censorship, surveillance and internet shutdowns in the region.
Hate speech on online platforms has posed the risk of offline violence. In countries like Myanmar and India, hateful content against certain communities give way to hatred and violence.