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亞洲政經與和平研究/Journal of Asian Political Economy and Peace Study


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This paper discusses the threats posed by disinformation disseminated via social media. At the beginning, disinformation is introduced in the context of information war. Next, three features of social media facilitating the dissemination of disinformation are identified. They are: (1) the algorithms which convert popularity into legitimacy; (2) the echo chamber effect which perpetuates biased views; and (3) the distribution of "dark ads" to targeted users. As for the threats to democracy, in the short-term, disinformation aims to create a political environment favorable to the perpetrator. This can be accomplished by either meddling in election or creating chaos in the society. In the long-run, disinformation aims to generate cynicism among the citizenry to paralyze a democracy. After addressing the threats, three examples of disinformation operation targeting Taiwan are described. In conclusion, measures to counter disinformation are raised. This paper suggests that the government can preempt disinformation operations in the short-term, and reconcile social divisions in the long-run. More importantly, social media enterprises have the responsibility to stop dissemination of disinformation. In addition to delete fake accounts, they should take actions to revise algorithms and to refuse to distribute advertisements involving disinformation.

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