TRUST IN TAIWAN’S MEDIA ECOLOGY, AUDIENCE AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: 2018 TAIWANESE LOCAL ELECTIONS AND NATIONAL REFERENDA AS A CASE STUDY
Keywords:Taiwan, election, referendum, news, social media
This panel presents four papers aiming to examine the significance of the 2018 elections and referenda to Taiwan from the perspectives of instant news, social media, the relationship between online and offline behaviors of citizens, and socially mediated activism. The authors explored media ecology, trust issues toward the audience and civic engagements of these elections and referenda. The research methods of studies presented in this panel are also diverse, ranging from computational methods, national survey, to in-depth semi-structured interview.
The first paper investigates how the online news media construct “liquid reality” in the election-related contents by analyzing instant news from five major online news media outlets in Taiwan. The second paper analyzes the election-related Twitter data by topic modeling and identifies issues, in which “fake news” was in play, and how social trust influence fake news sharing on social media was further discussed. The third paper characterize how the election-related information on social media influenced the offline behavior of the political participants by conducting a nation-wide survey to examine correlation between the online political information consumption behavior and the motivation to participate in real-life political activities. The fourth paper focuses on the relationship among socially mediated activism, fake news, and trust in social media in the referenda of same-sex marriage issues. By interviewing advocacy groups, third-party fact-checking organizations, governmental authorities, and social media platforms, the response strategies to the negative influence of fake news on social activism and vulnerable groups are explored.