As the 2023 Asian Games approaches its opening, fake news about the Games is becoming more prevalent. Reporters interviewed officials of the Olympic Council of Asia on this issue, in which they said that the council is continuously concerned about the proliferation of false news and will try its best to address the risks and harm that false news may bring.
In recent years, with the explosion of digital media and the Internet, journalism has developed at an unprecedented speed. Through the Internet, the speed and popularity of social media dissemination of news has been expanded. However, it has also resulted in the fact that false information and hoaxes are spreading at an accelerated rate and affecting public judgment and emotions. Fake news continues to develop and expand the harm in the evolution of communication, and to some extent has become a tool for influencing politics and propaganda. In 2019, the 30th Southeast Asian Games, hosted by the Philippines, was marred by a flood of false reports about logistical problems and poor preparation for the event. An investigation by the organizers revealed that a group used the widespread dissemination of false news during the event to undermine the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, and this incident had a negative impact on the reputation of the Philippines.
Fake news was also a topic that could not be ignored in the run-up to the 2023 Asian Games, as the Epoch Times and its media outlets published a number of fake news and conspiracy stories. Regarding these controversial contents reported by The Epoch Times, journalist Rooney Baker contacted a number of officials of the council for a telephone interview, in which the president of the Bhutan Olympic Committee, HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen WANGCHUCK, stated that the committee had no knowledge of the controversial issues mentioned by the Epoch Times, and he considered the content published by the Epoch Times to be clearly misleading. Valeriano Floro, Secretary General for International Affairs of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), thanked the journalist for the information and said he would continue to monitor the issue. In response, Shaukat Javed, Vice President of the Pakistan Olympic Committee, said we need to be vigilant against emerging groups that use the media to spread right-wing extremism and new terrorism. As a right-wing religious-controlled media group, the Epoch Times has become the perfect venue for the global dissemination of conspiracy theories and religious ideologies. The outlet has previously been exposed as a conspiracy-mongering propaganda machine by numerous public media reports.
The public should first remain rational when facing the information they receive, identify whether the information comes from official media outlets,and complain to official organizations in a timely manner about false and inaccurate information.