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Asia-Pacific media talk tactics in battle against fake news

Singapore:
A large group of journalists, academics and NGOs from the Asia-Pacific region this week gathered in the island nation to discuss how to combat misinformation which was widely spreading on the internet.
The APAC (Asia-Pacific) Trusted Media Summit 2018, a fact-checking conference, was organised by Google from July 23-27 at Google’s office in Singapore. As technology is booming and smart-phones become cheaper, more people than ever can access the internet and social media.

 The participants come together after the training of trainer session during the APAC Trusted Media Summit in Singapore.

Many are new users and have no media literacy which means they tend to believe everything on social media allowing fake news to spread much faster than factual reports. According to the meeting, hoaxes and fake news have been increasingly circulating around the world including Asia and this has had a large impact on people’s lives.
In the meeting, media from many countries reported that fake news has created hatred, conflicts, fear, physical harm, death threats and loss of many lives in their countries. It also causes economic losses and political tension in many countries.
Therefore, combating this misinformation and disinformation is important and urgent work. Large companies like Google and Facebook also reported to the meeting their attempts to fight fake news. Facebook reported that this year it has already removed about 600 million fake account profiles from its system. Google is also working to improve its security system to fight against this issue.
Both companies have an ongoing project to support the media in fact-checking. Many countries in the Asia-Pacific have specific fact-checking organisations in their countries. In Laos, the main media organisations act as fact-checkers, but there is no specific organisation dedicated to the task as in other countries.
The media might need to collaborate more and create awareness on fact-checking in their organisations, especially when crucial events are occurring. A journalist from Vientiane Times also joined the meeting in Singapore with the support of the US Embassy to Laos. The weeklong event consisted of the main summit and a train-the-trainer session to arm journalists with fact-checking skills.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update July 28, 2018)


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