Information Disorder in Asia and the Pacific: Overview of Misinformation Ecosystem in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam
70 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2018 Last revised: 4 Mar 2019
Date Written: October 10, 2018
This research paper is the first of a series of short articles that provide an overview of what is known about the scale and impact of disinformation in different Asian countries.
While concerns over "fake news" have prompted rigorous investigations into the related areas in the United States and Europe recently, little is known about the way misinformation and disinformation is spread in many Asian countries where economic and digital development, especially smartphones, have transformed people's lifestyles including their patterns of news consumption and distribution.
On which platforms do falsehoods spread? Who are the actors? What motivates them? Why do specific topics, issues, and individuals become targets for information disorder? What is the scale and impact of false or misleading news reports?
Of course, Asia is comprised of many countries; we speak different languages, have different cultures and religious beliefs, and live under various political systems. Naturally, the matters at the heart of the misinformation ecosystem in each country vary considerably.
In this research project, we aim to map the landscape of each country's own "fake news" problems. Many intertwined factors affect the situation, including culture, history, politics, economy, education, digital adoption, technology trends, media law, and press systems.
Our goal is not to encompass all such aspects, but rather to highlight salient characteristics that will inform academics, media professionals, tech companies, non-government organizations, and government organizations of critical issues and their impact on the community.
We believe these case studies would also inform the broader global discussion and research on misinformation already in progress; in some areas, Asian countries lead the rest of the world in technology use. Mobile-only internet usage, heavy reliance on chat apps, the popularity of emojis and messaging app stickers—these are some of the phenomena we observed in the Asia-Pacific region a few years before they caught on internationally.
We don’t know how long the overall investigation will take in the end, but as a start, we are releasing an overview research article on information disorder in different Asian countries in this document.
Keywords: fake news, Asia, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, media, journalism, press freedom
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