China has been using influencers to spread disinformation in Taiwan through social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube, reported Taipei Times. The aim behind spreading misinformation is to create suspicion and sabotage Taiwan-US relations, as per local media reports. But it would be difficult for Taiwan to assign an agency to regulate online activities, said a government official. Before Taiwan, there have been several states that banned the use of TikTok in government agencies due to security concerns.
These states are Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas. According to the ANI report, more than thirty US states, Canada, and European Union policy entities have also banned the social media app from being downloaded onto state-owned or government-owned devices. A week ago, Canada has also blocked the TikTok App from official electronic devices. Further, existing installations of the app would be removed from government-owned electronic devices, as per the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, reported CNN. Earlier, the White House gave government agencies 30 days to ensure that TikTok is not on any federal devices and systems.'
In a bid to prevent the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from using TikTok to spread disinformation and threaten national security, the Taiwan Cabinet last year had called for cross-ministerial meetings, but such meetings have not yet been held due to the Cabinet reshuffle this year, said a government official, reported Taipei Times. Before the reshuffle, the Cabinet led by former premier Su Tseng-chang banned the use of the short video platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, on government devices, However, there have been no further meetings held to stop threats from the Chinese-based app, TikTok, since reshuffle in January, said one of the official. Further, he added that the country has been still evaluating the issue while taking note of the methods that have been adopted by other countries. Taiwan doesn't have a government authority that can monitor online activities, reported Taipei Times. Over the years, China has been using "united front" tactics, cognitive warfare, and infiltration campaigns to divide Taiwanese society, and has tried to sabotage the relationship between Taiwan and like-minded nations.
"The issue involves free speech censorship and content management, so the government must be very careful," said the official.