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Humor over gossip? The world can learn a lot from Taiwan’s approach to fake news Coronavirus




Matt Hancock, we recently learned, got some indications of how to shape the UK vaccine strategy from the 2011 film Contagion. I do not know if this is something I would be proud of if I were the health secretary in the UK, but, look, it’s good that one is not shy about seeking different sources of advice. However, he may want to think about seeing Taiwan, rather than Hollywood, for further inspiration.

Taiwan has only had nine deaths confirmed by Covid so far. The island of almost 24 million people managed to eradicate the virus without having a blockade across the country. In October, it was a big Pride parade. Life is mostly back to normal and the economy is doing well.

There are many reasons why Taiwan has tackled the pandemic so successfully. It was burned by Sars in 2003, for one thing, and then created a powerful pandemic book. She also had an established culture of wearing masks. But what struck me most about Taiwan’s response is its strategy to develop it Audrey Tang, the digital minister, has described it as nerd immunity.

Inoculating people from misinformation and treating infodemic is essential to fighting the coronavirus. Tang, Taiwan first minister of transgender government and a self-described citizen hacker, has done so by promoting digital democracy: using technology to encourage civic participation and build consensus.

Tang has also broken the fake news by implementing a 2-2-2 humor over gossip strategy A response to misinformation is provided within 20 minutes, with 200 words or less, along with two fun images. At the beginning of the pandemic, for example, people were panicking to buy toilet paper because of a rumor that was being used to make face masks; supplies were running low. Thus, Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang was released a cartoon of him waving the boom, with an inscription saying: We have only one pair of buttocks. It seems silly, but it went viral. Humor can be much more effective than serious fact-checking.

So is his Boris Johnson boom shaking off the answer to coronavirus problems in the UK? Maybe (definitely) not. The lesson here is that a healthy democracy is built not from the bottom up, but from the bottom up.

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