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Countering Rumor with Humor

The Taiwan way of rumor control and also open government.

by Eric Holdeman / January 3, 2021

There is no reason to be bored when exercising. There are so many different podcasts out there, you can find whatever floats your boat.

Which for me today (Sunday) was "How Taiwan used digital tools to solve the pandemic with Audrey Tang." This podcast dates back to June, so I checked the stats for today. They have had a total of 808 cases and seven (yes, seven) deaths. The population of Taiwan is 24 million (rounding up). The United States is now at 351,000 deaths. If you used the the death rate for Taiwan and used our population total, we'd have around 104 deaths right now. How we doin'?

The one item I'll highlight here is a concept they are using to counter disinformation. They call it "using humor to counter rumor." The amazing part is that they believe they have to act "within hours" to counter any rumor they discover. Two hours is their goal. They employ comedians to help them. And, a principle they use is that you don't make fun of others, only yourself/government. 

Hard to get in trouble if you are only making fun of yourself — but, I have found people and humor vary widely. However, I do think that the Humor vs. Rumor idea would work here in the United States. Evidence: TikTok. 

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