Anti-LGBT groups are spreading fake news before Taiwan’s same-sex-marriage vote

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11/22/2018

As Taiwan gears up to vote on same-sex marriage on Saturday (Nov. 24), its LGBT community has been battling a flood of misinformation proliferating across social media platforms like Line, the Japanese chat app that’s dominant in Taiwan. The messages most likely to go viral are the ones that connect same-sex marriage with HIV, said Johnson Liang, the founder of CoFacts, a voluntary, collaborative chatbot for factchecking questionable messages being disseminated on Line. CoFact volunteers verify the content of messages and the bot then responds back to the Line user. One example of a message that went “super viral” on Line last year, said Liang, is one titled “Strange! Why do they want to rush to legalize same-sex marriage?” The message, whose source is unknown, claims that Taiwan—which offers universal health-care—will become a magnet for HIV-positive homosexual men, who will flock to the country and marry a Taiwanese man in order to use the health-care system.

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