Computational Propaganda in Taiwan: Where Digital Democracy Meets Automated Autocracy

19 June 2017

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As part of our new country case study series, project member Nick Monaco investigated computational propaganda in Taiwan.


Taiwan is a country with a rich history and cultural ties to mainland China. Though there has been much research and effort dedicated to propaganda and censorship in the People’s Republic of China over the years, less attention has been paid to the digital propaganda sphere in Taiwan. This report explores computational propaganda in Taiwan and finds that digital propaganda in Taiwan can be divided into two types: (1) internal propaganda on domestic political issues and campaigns and (2) cross-Strait propaganda—emanating from the mainland and promoting reunification of the two countries. Furthermore, recent computational and social research points to manual propaganda being the main method used in campaigns in both countries. The uses of two political bots in Taiwan, an anti-fake news bot and an intelligence-gathering crawler bot used in a 2014 electoral campaign, are explored in detail.

Citation: Nicholas J. Monaco, “Computational Propaganda in Taiwan: Where Digital Democracy Meets Automated Autocracy.” Samuel Woolley and Philip N. Howard, Eds. Working Paper 2017.10. Oxford, UK: Project on Computational Propaganda.<>. 32 pp.

Read the full report here.

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