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China uses TikTok for disinformation campaign in Taiwan

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Taipei | March 13, 2023 8:04:20 AM IST
China uses influencers to spread disinformation in Taiwan through social media such as TikTok and YouTube, aimed at creating suspicion and sabotaging Taiwan-US relations, reported Taipei Times.

However, a government official said that it is difficult for Taiwan to assign an agency to regulate online activities.

In an effort to prevent the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from using TikTok to spread disinformation and threaten national security, the Cabinet late last year called for cross-ministerial meetings, but such meetings have not yet been held due to the Cabinet reshuffle this year, the government official said on condition of anonymity, reported Taipei Times.

The Cabinet led by former premier Su Tseng-chang banned the use of short video platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, on government devices, but there has been no further discussion about other methods to combat threats since the Cabinet reshuffle in January, the official said.

The issue involves free speech censorship and content management, so the government must be very careful, the official said, adding that the EU also began banning TikTok on government devices, reported Taipei Times.

Taiwan is still evaluating the issue, while referencing the methods adopted by other countries, they said.

There is a government authority supervising radio and television broadcast content, but with the draft "digital intermediary service act" suspended, there is no government authority monitoring online activities, the official added.

Asked if the Ministry of Digital Affairs could become the authority to manage the issue, the official said the Information and Communication Security Management Act and the Personal Data Protection Act cover the operations of several ministries, so it is difficult for only one agency to regulate online activity, reported Taipei Times.

China uses "united front" tactics, cognitive warfare and infiltration campaigns to divide Taiwanese society, and tries to sabotage the relationship between Taiwan and like-minded countries.

Earlier, the White House gave government agencies 30 days to ensure that TikTok is not on any federal devices and systems.

Several states, including Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas, have passed similar legislation banning government agencies from using TikTok over security concerns.

More than 30 US states, Canada and European Union policy institutions have also banned TikTok from being loaded onto state-owned devices.

The Canadian government blocked the short-form video app TikTok from official electronic devices.

According to CNN, Government-issued devices will be blocked from downloading TikTok, and existing installations of the app will be removed, according to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. (ANI)

 
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