Humor over Rumor: Combating Disinformation Around COVID-19 in Taiwan

Recorded in June 2020.

2020 will be remembered as the year when a novel strain of coronavirus spread around the globe, leaving a trail of death, despair and disruption in its wake. In this podcast, we explore the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting lives worldwide. We ask how it will change the world as we know it – from the global economy and geopolitics to the long-term consequences for people, societies and cultures. And we want to know: What can we learn from this pandemic and our responses to it?

In this episode, we focus on Taiwan, which has been praised for its effective response to the coronavirus outbreak. How did Taiwan handle the outbreak so effectively? And what was its approach to combating disinformation around the virus and educating its population on best practices? Allister Chang discussed these and other questions with Taiwan’s Digital Minister, Audrey Tang. Audrey Tang is a software programmer who has been described as one of the "ten greats of Taiwanese computing personalities." She took office as Digital Minister on October 1, 2016 and was placed in charge of aiding government agencies to communicate policy goals and manage information, both via digital means. At the age of 35, Audrey Tang became Taiwan’s youngest ever government minister.

Allister is a a Robert Bosch Stiftung Fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin, where he researches on media literacy and disinformation. We have also conducted an interview with him about media literacy on our other podcast, Global Futures.

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