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Japan’s accidental resilience in the disinformation age

Is Japan an outlier in the disinformation age?

It can sometimes seem that way. In a world saturated with social media, false and misleading online stories are an increasingly serious problem. They can worsen political polarization, influence the outcome of elections and even fan the flames of violence. Consider the furor over Russia’s interference in the US presidential election, or China’s attempts to manipulate the recent vote in Taiwan, or the way Facebook has been blamed for helping to promote attacks on the Rohingya in Myanmar.

Disinformation also affects Japan. Yet the country’s insular media culture and widespread distaste for political speech online have inadvertently acted as a kind of insulation, keeping the full heat of the disinformation storm at bay. It’s a topic we discussed at length during a recent online webinar co-sponsored by The Japan Times.



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