The Guardian columnist, Arwa Mahdawi praised Taiwan’s “humor over rumor” approach to combating COVID-19 fake news. (Photos from Su Tseng-chang and Audrey Tang/Facebook)


Taiwan’s strategy of using “humor over rumor” to combat the spread of  COVID-19-related fake news is something the world could learn from, a columnist for The Guardian wrote on Wednesday.

居住在紐約的專欄作家Arwa Mahdawi寫道,台灣有將近2400萬人口,卻只有9個COVID-19死亡例,是因為台灣成功的以「怪咖/書呆子免疫力」抑制假新聞的傳播。

Arwa Mahdawi, a New York-based brand strategist,  wrote that with a population of almost 24 million and only 9 COVID-19-related deaths, Taiwan has successfully curbed the spread of the virus by utilizing “nerd immunity.”

Screengrab from The Guardian website


As opposed to “herd immunity,” Taiwan’s digital minister Audrey Tang remarked that the 2-2-2 “humor over rumor” strategy makes it easier for real information to become viral.

據Arwa Mahdawi 所述,唐鳳解釋道「2-2-2」代表每則假消息需要在發佈的20分鐘內得到回覆,回覆則需要少於200字,最後需要補上兩張好笑的圖片。

Mahdawi cited Tang’s “2-2-2 method” that requires “a response to misinformation is provided within 20 minutes, in 200 words or fewer, alongside two fun images.”

文中,Arwa Mahdawi以行政院長蘇貞昌為例,提到前日他以自己扭屁股的迷因和「咱只有一粒卡臣」等文字成功的破除民眾誤傳廁所衛生紙將被拿去做口罩材料的假消息。

In the article, Mahdawi used the example of Premier Su Tseng-chang’s viral meme of him wiggling his bottom alongside the words, “We only have one pair of buttocks” in combating the false rumor toilet paper was being used to manufacture face masks.


Tang was also quoted by local Chinese-language media in saying that as long as the picture is funny enough, every meme can be equated to a vaccine, arming readers and viewers with immunity against misinformation. 

將過去對抗SARS疫情的經驗加上「幽默」,Arwa Mahdawi讚嘆世界應向台灣學習,並補充道一個健康的民主國家是需要由下往上,以民眾為基礎出發。

In combining humor with past experiences of dealing with the 2003 SARS pandemic, Mahdawi concluded that the world could take some pointers from Taiwan and added that “a healthy democracy is built not from the top down, but from the bottom up.”

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