Relating Credibility to Writing Style, Emotion, and Scope of Spread of Disinformation

Abstract:

This study focuses on Taiwan, a Chinese-speaking country suffering from disinformation attacks. To fully explore the situation in Taiwan, this study adopts the victim-oriented approach and focuses on the following question: what are some factors regarding the credibility of disinformation in Taiwan? The result of an exit poll survey (n=892) and a series of behavior experiments (n=86) indicate that, when countering disinformation, regulations that only focus on transparency of the source may have little impact since the source is not the main variable in terms of credibility. Instead, the researchers suggest that fact checkers, journalists, and authorities be more aware of disinformation that seems to be rational. This kind of disinformation is more harmful than other kinds, especially when the information stirs up negative feelings and circulates in small echo chambers.


AUTHORS

Photo of Dr. Puma Shen

Graduate School of Criminology, National Taipei University,
Taiwan

Dr. Puma Shen (Assistant Professor, National Taipei University, Taiwan) is the chairperson of Doublethink Lab and the vice president of Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR). He is a lawyer who focuses heavily on the Right to Privacy and in tracking privacy violations locally. Dr. Shen’s article on China’s disinformation chain has been circulated widely among academics and among Taiwanese society in early 2019, greatly contributing to public awareness of Chinese IO. He specializes in state crime, information warfare, white-collar crime, and the sociology of law.

Photo of Yun Ju Chen

Doublethink Lab,
Taiwan

Yun Ju Chen is a researcher at Doublethink Lab, Taiwan. She focuses on the social, political, and psychological motivations of disinformation consumers.

Photo of Poyu Tseng

Doublethink Lab,
Taiwan

Poyu Tseng is a researcher at Doublethink Lab. Her research focuses on state-funded disinformation, how it influences people, and how to create a counter-narrative to combat it. She is an activist concerning youth empowerment, human rights, and open government. She is the co-author of the first report that examines the development of open government in Taiwan from 2014 to 2016. Her recent work mainly focuses on conducting capacity-building training in disinformation knowledge and media literacy for Southeast Asia NGOs.

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Keywords

A

AI
APT

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

D

DNS
DoD
DoS

I

IA
ICS

M

S

SOA

X

XRY

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