Like other parts of the world, social media platforms in China are also filled with misinformation. One unique aspect, however, is the role played by the so-called “self-media,” usually funded by venture capitals.
SupChina covered this topic and interviewed me.
“Sensationalist titles and stereotypes can always attract higher viewership, which can be converted into advertising revenues and investment,” says Fang Kecheng, the Annenberg PhD candidate.
A research team at MIT, after analyzing some 126,000 stories on Twitter over more than 10 years, found that false information consistently outperforms true information on Twitter in terms of its reach, its influence, and its speed of reproduction. “Ultimately, this is about media literacy,” says Fang Kecheng. “Until a day when people feel naturally repulsed by rumors and sensationalist stories, we need platforms to intervene and penalize self-media that spread misinformation.” Tencent, for its part, launched its official fact-checking account in 2017, and has already formed a partnership with the Center Against Overseas False Rumors. Last year, Tencent closed down 180,000 self-media accounts that post false rumors frequently and intercepted over 500 million rumors.
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