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Politics

Viral lies spread democratic decay from Thailand to Nepal: report

Asia needs structural change, not just tech crackdown, USAID-backed scholars say

Disinformation from some of Asia's ruling elites can thrive on Facebook, TikTok and Twitter due to inequality-driven distrust and democratic declines, new academic research says. (Source photo by AP and Reuters)

HO CHI MINH CITY -- When fake photos and COVID conspiracies spiral across Facebook or TikTok, critics invariably ask how to protect people from the dregs of the internet. But a new report on disinformation in Asia suggests that focusing on technology misses the point and that a crackdown on tech may treat the symptom, not the disease.

The report, How Information Disorder Affirms Authoritarianism and Destabilizes Democracy, was released last month by the U.S. Agency for International Development and written by a team of scholars giving advice for USAID projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

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