Today’s graph follows the same theme as yesterday’s graph. As I mentioned, I’m working on a blog post on China and Taiwan. The post will not only cover economic developments as shown in yesterday’s graphs, but also politics. Governments plan and implement policies in many ways. Policies in dictatorships and democracies are made from widely different views on individual rights and constraints on the executive powers.
China and Taiwan represent the two extremes on the above-mentioned spectra. The two countries also pursue foreign policy in two extremely different ways. While Taiwanese foreign policy follows diplomatic rules, Chinese foreign policy is aggressive and tries to influence decision making in different countries in different ways.
As shown in this post, China and other autocratic countries often use the Internet and social media to disseminate false information targeting both domestic and foreign audiences. Figure 4 in the post showed that Taiwan is a frequent target for false information from abroad but never or almost never a sender of false information.
In today’s graph, I will take a closer look at Chinese dissemination of false information at home and abroad and foreign governments’ dissemination of false information targeting Taiwanese. To this graph I will add one which shows the countries’ censorship of the Internet.
As the upper panel shows, Chinese government and party dissemination of false information both at home and abroad closely follows the extent of foreign dissemination of false information targeting Taiwan. Even though Taiwan is a frequent target for dissemination of false information from foreign governments, the Internet is not filtered. The Chinese regime, for which the dissemination of false information is part of the foreign policy toolbox, routinely uses censorship to prevent its people from accessing unbiased information from abroad.
China and Taiwan as origins and destinations of false information (top) and Chinese and Taiwanese government Internet filtering (bottom).
Source: V-Demhttps://www.v-dem.net/en/Note: Upper panel. The vertical axis shows Government/party dissemination of false information abroad and Foreign governments dissemination of false information. The first indicator measures how often the government, strongly associated political parties and its agents use social media to disseminate misleading viewpoints or false information to influence citizens at home and in other countries. Range 0 to 4 where 0 indicates extremely often and 4 never or almost never. The second indicator measures how routinely foreign governments and their agents use social media to disseminate misleading viewpoints or false information to influence domestic politics in a country. Range 0 to 4 where 0 indicates extremely often and 4 never or almost never. Note: Lower panel. The vertical axis shows how frequently governments censor political information (text, audio, images, or video) on the Internet by filtering (blocking access to certain websites)? Range 0 to 4 where 0 indicates extremely often and 4 never or almost never.