Week Three (Part 1): Disinformation and (non)Mongolian BBQ

Week Three (part 1) at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (7/21 – 7/24)

This week I sent off two emails to NGOs I want to interview! I hope to include the interviews on a report for TFD’s news blog (though I’ll need permission from TFD before publishing anything). Strictly speaking, the email is the interview because I included my questions there, but who knows? Maybe they’ll have time to answer in person.

The first was to an NGO called Cofacts 真的假的. They’re a fact-checking organization with an innovative process: people message reports of possible fake news to Cofacts via LINE, a What’sApp-like messenger that is used by almost all of Taiwanese mobile society. If the rumor has already been reported by someone else (and checked by Cofacts), a bot automatically sends a reply with the fact-check report.

The second organization is the Youth Combatting Fake News Front. They are a student movement dedicated to raising awareness about fake news and protesting Chinese disinformation efforts.

Not to make this blog too serious, but the misinformation landscape ain’t pretty. Not only does Taiwan have to deal with disinformation on social media and small news sources, like the US, but even some large media organizations are controlled by Beijing. The Financial Times reported: “Journalists working at the China Times and CTiTV told the Financial Times that their editorial managers take instructions directly from the Taiwan Affairs Office, the body in Chinese government that handles Taiwan issues.” Thankfully, civil society in Taiwan is being vigilant and putting out new solutions.

Maybe too serious? Here’s some food pictures:

Fatty pork knuckle with bamboo, soy sauce egg, and tofu. From a popular little shop in the market by my place.

Fatty pork knuckle with bamboo, soy sauce egg, and tofu. From a popular little shop in the market by my place.

Vegetarian bento from a self-help cafeteria near my office.

Vegetarian bento from a self-help cafeteria near my office.

Mongolian barbecue. (According to Wikipedia, it was created in Taiwan and has no relationship to Mongolia)

Mongolian barbecue. (According to Wikipedia, it was created in Taiwan and has no relationship to Mongolia)

(This post is a bit short because my weekend deserved a full blog post. Go read it! It’s exciting!)