OK, thank you. Thank you, bye.
Thank you, thanks. Peter, will you stay on?
You have to go? OK, thank you so much. We appreciate your time.
Right, but what Peter’s asking, they’re not in some way inspired, or connected to, or paid by the government?
People just discard them, don’t believe them, or say that really just proves it’s true. In other words, why would fact-checking work in Taiwan when it clearly doesn’t work in other places?
First of all, who makes sure that they actually do that? Secondly, how does that affect people who read it? We were seeing in the United States that the use of, for example, Twitter’s use of fact checks on Donald Trump’s posts have almost the opposite effect.
They’re social sector fact-checkers, but Facebook accept their fact checks?
Just so that I understood that, there, you said the Taiwan fact-checkers. Does that mean you have Taiwan government fact-checkers?
Do you think about that as you’re in opposition to that or does it not bother you? You’re so close to it physically and in other ways.
China seeks to make its system appealing by changing the meanings of words, but also by creating a very efficient Internet which claims to be able to control crime and so on; How does that affect the way that you think about what you’re doing in Taiwan?
Yeah, I’ve just written about this.
It would first require democracies to understand that this is necessary.
In Taiwan, have you thought about this process of pressuring, or demanding, or negotiating with Facebook in order to get insight into their algorithms?
Having ombudsmen who can oversee or co-create them…
The profiling data. Do you think we need a regulatory regime for that kind of data? Should there be some controls on it, or is that just up to the companies or up to consumers to react to it? How do look at social media data, profiling data?
What about the kinds of data that are captured by social media companies, by your interests in pop music, and the kinds of ads that you click on.
Given that lots of data could be used to solve healthcare crises, including the one we’re having now, how do you balance between the goods and the bad uses of mass data collection tools?
What’s the difference between that and anonymity? That’s the definition of anonymity. People don’t have to take responsibility for what they say because they’re hiding behind a pseudonym.
This is actually one of the themes I was going to ask you about, which was anonymity. In so many fora, study after study is showing that people who are anonymous behave much worse than people whose identities are real and who have to take responsibility for their speech.
How do you screen out bad actors and people who are deliberately participating in a false or undermining way? That’s a problem that almost no social media has solved.
[laughs] Have you had resistance to these ideas in Taiwan from the political class?
I’m married to a politician. I was describing to him how Polis worked. His first reaction was, “Well, if that works, why do you need us?” Meaning we politicians.
No, I think the…
In other words, the polarization is real. That is then reflected in social media. Social media then amplifies the polarization, and in the US, we have an actual moment of epistemological break, where people now live in literally different worlds and believe different facts.
The trouble in the US is that you have a chicken and egg problem, which is that you have this very profound polarization which is driving social media to increase the polarization. It’s very hard to know how to end that bad cycle.
The problem in Europe was that we didn’t have citizen activists who were that attuned to the problem and weren’t paying attention.I’m trying to understand what’s different between Taiwan and Europe. Is that the problem, that we haven’t got this same public…
What do you mean by social sanctions?
Why did they do that in Taiwan and not in Europe?
They ignored it. It was very hard to access, there was no way to prove that they were doing it openly. It wasn’t even clear that the public was that interested in it when it appeared. A few little NGOs worked on it, and it had almost no impact.
That actually, what you’ve just described, was tried in Europe during the last European election campaign, and it didn’t work.
Also, by setting up these projects, by setting up Polis or vTaiwan, isn’t that an intervention of the state, or how do you describe what you’re doing there? Is that, you’re creating a framework…
What do you mean by “with” the government?
We wanted to begin with your philosophy, the philosophy behind some of the things that you’re doing. You have described yourself as a “conservative anarchist.” What does that mean?