The Taiwan FactCheck Center website went online Tuesday. The center’s goal is to combat the spread of fake news, and the website is only available in Chinese at this time.
The website opened with three fact-check reports. Two of the reports fact checked media reports on Palau Pacific Airways. Initial reports said that the suspension of the airlines flights to Hong Kong was due to pressure from China, but the website found that it was an economic decision to end the route.
It will continue to focus on Taiwan-related news and rumors that may contain misinformation. It promises to use verified data to check all claims to improve openness, transparency, and responsibility in Taiwan. The website notes that Taiwan’s media is not as strong as it should be, and that the center’s goal is to improve the reliability of journalism. It also hopes to educate the public so readers can recognize potential fake news.
Users can register with the center to report suspected fake news. Users will also be able to submit evidence to support or refute claims.
The Taiwan FactCheck Center was established by non-profit organization Media Watch (台灣媒體觀察教育基金會).
Taiwan ranked 42nd in press freedom worldwide and first in Asia, according to the Reporters Without Border 2018 World Press Freedom Index. The report noted, “Journalistic independence has also been threatened by Taiwanese officials who have interfered directly in the editorial policies of the state-owned media.”